Stage 3 – Vacation and Work
Sunshine, summer, free time…. how-do you honour you
… summer vacations, at least in the northern hemisphere, are around the corner. Maybe you are travelling somewhere or have plans for some special activities in your hometown.
Maybe you recognise the situation: your clients are working on an important project and no matter how well you planned out your vacation, just in the middle of your vacation, an important milestone is happening – because of a delay in the project. Or a super important proposal just came in a day before your vacation and you must work on this pitch. There is always something very important at work – during the vacations.
I think I have worked in more than 80% of my vacations and I would not see myself as a role model in this topic. However, I think I managed to develop a very satisfying balance between vacation and recharging and focussed working segments.
It took years for me to realise, that
- The sun rises every morning, regardless of me I working or not
- Clients survive without me
- No-one really thanks me in the long run, if I skip recharging
- I have one health
- I have one family
For me, there a 2 corner stones:
Expectations / clear communication:
If I tell my clients and colleagues, that I will be available during my vacations, they will expect it. And if I tell my clients and colleagues, that I will be available on 1 day during my vacation, they will able to work with it too.
If you tell your family and your partner that you need to read emails and work throughout your vacation, they might be disappointed – as they planned to spend time with you and planned to spend extra money on this vacation. And you can negotiate one day – if you really want to work – or if you think you need to work.
I communicate in my out-of-office message, the date when I will check my emails and when I will be available. And I de-activate my notifications on my phone. I realised, that I tend to check my emails on my phone, if I see the number of new messages. If I de-activate them, I am more disciplined to check them at the agreed times.
These two elements are a way for me to secure my space to recharge and enjoy time with my loved ones AND I am relaxed if I also have a dedicated but small amount of time to care about my clients.
This balance works for me. I also had a time, where I was working very close with 2 colleagues on different projects. Here we were able to fully hand-over task and help each other out. This situation is in my option by far the best, because you can leave work completely.
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