The holidays are a time to celebrate with family and friends, but for business women, entrepreneurs, and business owners, the holidays can be a time of stress and anxiety. It’s easy to get caught up in work mode and find yourself constantly checking your email or browsing your social media feeds rather than enjoying the holidays.
If you want to take a real break from work during the holidays and enjoy some quality time with your loved ones, we’ve got you covered. Here are five tips to help you disconnect from work and enjoy some much-needed downtime.
Benefits of Disconnecting from Work During the Holidays
Disconnecting from work during the holidays can be extremely beneficial for your mental health. Instead of worrying about work, you can focus on spending time with your loved ones and relaxing – two things that are essential to living a full and happy life.
When you return to work, you’ll feel more energized and productive. Whether you work for someone else or you own a business, you need to prioritize your mental and physical health. The holidays are the perfect time to do it.
5 Tips for Disconnecting from Work During the Holidays
With that said, here are five tips for disconnecting from work during the holidays:
1. Establish Boundaries With Your Boss and Co-Workers
You’ve finally decided it’s time to take a break from work and enjoy the holidays with your friends and family. However, before you can fully disconnect, you need to set some boundaries with your boss and co-workers (or with your employees if you’re a business owner).
Before you take time off, you need to let your boss and coworkers (or employees) know that you’ll be unavailable – and that means completely unavailable. Create a plan so your deliverables are done before you leave and any outstanding tasks or projects are covered while you’re out.
Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure everything is set to run smoothly while you’re away. It’s up to you to make sure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed before your first day off!
2. Set Client Expectations in Advance
Before you leave for the holidays, it’s important to set client expectations in advance. Let them know that you’ll be unavailable from a certain date until a certain date, and make sure they feel comfortable that all will be fine while you’re away. Also, be sure to put this information in your out-of-office message for your phone, email, and any other communication channels you use with your clients.
If you have some work communications that absolutely must be handled during your holiday break, let your clients know that you’ll be checking emails and voicemails periodically, but that you won’t be able to respond right away. This way, they won’t be expecting a response immediately. See #5 below for more about responding to messages during your holiday break.
3. Leave Work Devices at Work
You’ve probably heard this one before, but it’s worth repeating: when you’re on vacation, leave your work devices at work. In other words, don’t check your email, don’t take work calls, and don’t answer work texts.
This is the “out of sight, out of mind” trick, and it’s crucial for actually enjoying your time off. If you’re constantly connected to your work email, you’re going to feel guilty for taking a break and you’re not going to be able to fully relax. So unplug, turn off your phone, and enjoy your time with family and friends.
4. Turn off Notifications
Don’t forget to turn off all work-related notifications on your phone, laptop, and so on before you leave for your holiday break!
Notifications can be a major distraction, especially when you’re trying to relax and enjoy your time off. So it’s a good idea to turn them off for the holidays. That way, you can focus on being present in the moment and not worry about what’s happening at work. You can always check your email and voicemail at scheduled times if you absolutely must (see #5 below).
If you’re using a smartphone, it’s easy to turn off notifications:
- On an iPhone: Go to Settings > Notifications > scroll down to the app you want to adjust > toggle the Allow Notifications slider to OFF.
- On an Android Phone: Tap Settings > Notification Manager > find the app you want to adjust > toggle the Allow Notifications slider to OFF.
5. Set a Schedule to Respond to Messages and Stick to It
You may be surprised to hear this, but while you’re on a holiday break, you don’t actually have to answer every email that comes through your inbox the instant it arrives. If you must respond to emails, phone calls, and other messages during your time off, then set a response schedule and stick to it.
For example, only open your email or phone messages once per day, and only respond to messages that must be answered before you return to the office. If you followed tips #1-4 above, then you already set expectations with your boss, coworkers, employees, and clients before your holiday break began, and they know you’re not available. All messages can wait unless they are an emergency.
By checking your messages once per day, you can quickly delete messages you don’t need, respond to those that need an immediate response, and prioritize the rest for when you return to the office. You can create a prioritization system using folders, labels, colors, and so on. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed by your inboxes when you get back to the office but you also won’t get distracted from what you’re supposed to be doing – enjoying time with friends and family during the holidays.
Key Takeaways about Disconnecting from Work During the Holidays
If you’re finding it hard to disconnect from work during the holidays, try out the five tips discussed above. See if setting some boundaries for yourself, getting organized, and communicating with your boss, coworkers, employees, and/or clients can help you relax and enjoy your time off. Taking a break from work is important for your mental and physical health, so make sure you get the time and space you need by doing some prep work in advance.
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