10 Tips for Staying Productive During Vacation Time
Working from home, everyday is a vacation. Wrong! It’s equally important for freelancers working from home to take a vacation. You need a break as much as if you where working full-time on a factory floor, building houses, managing the cash register at your local mini-mart or working in an office.
We freelancers do have the ability to take a vacation when we feel the need for it, but guess what – often it’s an unpaid vacation with a lot of work when you get back from it. But there are ways to stay productive during vacation time, while fleeing the workload you have waiting at home.
Recently I took a vacation for 7 days, when I got back I felt more energized, and a new sense of purpose. How did I do it? Well, throughout my years in freelancing and management work – I’ve collected a few tips and tricks I always run with while on vacation. For those of you taking a spring break vacation, I’ve written down 10 quick tips for a productive vacation for all of you to make use of.
If you’re anything like me, all fun and no work = not your scene. These tips will help you stay inspired and take advantage of this down time.
- Prepare well before leaving
Get caught up with work before leaving, and if possible work ahead. Be sure to let your client’s know you’ll be away, especially your big clients.
- Check and answer emails for 30 min a day
If you’re using a vacation auto-responder for your e-mail client, you will find it a breeze as the e-mails won’t be that many. Hopefully!
- Carry around a notebook and a pen
Usually you get more inspiration when you’re not at home feeling the normal truckload of responsibility. Take advantage of your relaxed vacation mind and just write down what comes your way.
- Read your favorite blogs or bring along a work related book
Shorten it down to once a day, preferably before you go to bed. You process it better when you’re sleeping, this way you stay up to date with your interests. Try to keep it within an hour though.
- AVOID thinking about your workload, it’s counter productive and will ruin your vacation
When starting to think about work, write it down instead. You will get a relaxed feeling, why not barbecue a steak while you’re at it?
- Plan your day for unexpected things to happen
If you’re a person who plans their vacation, make sure to leave a spot open for unexpected or impulsive things. It’s more fun that way, and will bring some needed diversity into your life.
- Take long nature walks, find a stone and sit down to embrace everything around you
Both inspirational and amazing, you discover new ways to do things.
- NEVER think – “It’s just a small thing, it’ll only take 5 minutes to do”
Write it down instead and do it when you’re back home, it’s ALWAYS more than just 5 minutes.
- Talk with people, but don’t tell or show them what you do
If you tell people what you do, chances are that they will ask questions. Voila, you’re back in your office and on square one – which is bad. If you still tell them, make sure to let them know you’re on vacation and write down what they ask you. Do it when you’re back home instead, saves you a headache or two.
- Avoid talking about work, clients, design, ideas, writing or anything else that’s work related
Your friends or family will think you’re boring and always think about work, I know – easier said than done. It’s a curse after all.
- Bonus tip. Do things you normally wouldn’t do
Such as, turning off your phone or leave your computer at home. You will get a relaxing feeling from it.
Now some of you might think that these points aren’t much vacation related, but if you practice them with common sense – you will find them to work and keep you on your toes. Do they work? If practiced correctly and properly you will find yourself more inspired and productive, best part though – you won’t feel guilty for neglecting work or being on vacation. You’ll get just enough of a dose of work to feed your work addiction, and not be cut off completely, which will allow you to enjoy your vacation more.
To summarize this entire post into one short sentence, Relax, you’re on vacation! The big thing about productivity while on vacation, is to not be overly productive, take a real break from work and come back recharged. Once back at work you’ll see your productivity soar.
How do you stay productive throughout your vacation? Can you cut off work cold turkey while on vacation? Do you let loose or constantly feel the need to check your email? What is your work versus freedom balance while on vacation? Let us know about your tips and opinions. I for one, eagerly await to see how you do it.