Today more than ever, our professional careers and our private lives tend to overlap so it isn’t always easy to see where one begins and the other ends. Whether you’re a self-motivated entrepreneur working out of your spare room, a laptop-wielding digital nomad, or you’re dealing with a boss who expects you to remain connected 24/7, it has never been easier to get a bit of work done here and there – nor more difficult to relax. Yet working longer does not equal working better. Our sleep patterns are disturbed by the perpetual glowing screens in front of us, our relationships are effected by all the distractions, so naturally our minds struggle to perform their best at our professional tasks.
If you’re concerned that this describes you, or you want to arrest this worrying trend before it gets too far, a good start is to make sure you’re holidaying right. The idea of a week away when running your own business can fill you with dread, but done properly it can work wonders both for your work performance and your work-life balance. Before you go, start putting your mind to rest by ensuring everything is covered while you are away. Plan your final week in advance, including a short last day, so you can get in the right mindset before you leave. You can still check in once a day while you’re away, just to soothe your nerves – but be strict about this, because one email refresh can quickly become a chain of non-essential tasks.
To really make the most of this opportunity, be sure not to undo all the good (non)work when you return. Put aside a couple of days specifically for catching up, else you’ll constantly feel that you’re chasing your tail – and soon wind up as burned out as you would have anyway. That out-of-office auto-reply can be a blessing if you continue to use it for a while until you’re ready to announce that you’re back.
For more such tips on how to soothe your soul and re-engage with your loved ones, check out this new infographic on holiday relaxation tips for workaholics. You deserve it!