Tuesday, March 4, 2014

5 Ways to Vaca

I am not one who knows how to take a vacation. 

Don't get me wrong, I've been on vacations. But honestly, I've always worked on them. 

As a classroom teacher I would bring professional books to read, create units of learning, and rearranged my classroom. I was always working. 

This is the first time I've actually taken vacation time to stay home; a week. As someone who works from home, let me just tell you how tricky this is!  

Especially because I had a meeting yesterday that got my wheels spinning.  I struggled to sleep because ideas were churning all night.  It's been quite tempting to hop into work, but I've been working hard to restrain myself. 

Although this is new territory for me, I've got some tips to make a vaca work - free. 
  • Put your work stuff in another room. My home office happens to be in the basement. I put my laptop & all other work related items that could call my name there. 
  • Turn your work email off  all your devices. I know myself well enough to know that I would happily answer emails as they arrive. (And I'll admit that I did answer two today as I was turning them off.) The good news is that you don't have to delete the account from your mail setting, just turn the mail off to sync. When vaca is done,  you can turn it back on with a few taps. 
  • Set up an out of office reply. This is important to let folks in and out of your work network know that you're away and will get back to them as soon as you return to work. It's an acknowledgement that their communication is important. 
  • Plan things to do. This is especially true if you work from home. When not on vaca I work at all different hours. If you're someone, like me, who needs to feel productive then plan non-work things to do.  Right now, for me that means getting together with friends & family, working on things around my house,  and setting up appointments if both the necessary (doctors & taxes) and pampering (massages, pedicures, movies). 
  • Remind yourself that you are on vacation. You're supposed to be lazy & sit on the couch. All day. You're not supposed to work, no matter how pressing you perceive a project to be. 
It's been a hard vacation day 1 to stick to these suggestions. But I'm confident that I'll be a pro by the time my vaca is over.