Truth: Vacations stress me out. The work before and after overloads me. There’s that saying that you should create a life you don’t have to take vacations from, but even the happiest people need some time away from their jobs to decompress and enjoy themselves. While I understand the importance, the prep before and reintegration into my daily routines after overwhelm me.
I’d rather take a workation.
What is a workation?
A workation is exactly what it sounds like: half work, half vacation. You can travel or stay home and relax while still staying on top of work. I promise that it’s possible and I have had several successful workations. My most recent workation was a three-generation getaway with my mom and my grandma to the beach and yes, I worked while I was there.
If you think workationing is for you, you need to know that a successful workation requires some forethought and boundary setting to ensure that you can get things done and still relax. Follow these tips to find the balance.
Work Before You Leave
Do the things with impending deadlines first. Do the tasks you can finish in advance, things that don’t have to be performed on a day-to-day basis. Anything that can be done ahead of time will increase your relaxation time later.
Use Your Time Wisely
I was extremely lucky on my recent trip because I could work on the ten-hour ride to our vacation spot. It’s 2017, baby, and cars have wifi. The beauty of online business is that I can work anywhere with an internet connection, so I do.
In addition to passing the time on the trip, it allowed me to get the highest priority tasks finished before the vacation really even started.
If you’re lucky enough to be a passenger and have access to wifi or can create a hotspot from your smartphone, hustle through the hardest parts of your work to save yourself stress when you arrive at your destination. Planes, trains, and other modes of transportation also offer the internet.
Even if you can’t work during travel time, plan to work certain hours during your workation and then shut off at a specific time. For me, that was getting up early, working until noon, and then saying NO. MORE. WORK. This is a hard boundary to set if you’re used to working 8+ hour days, but you’ll thank yourself when you’re sipping chocolate martinis in a hot tub instead of chugging through work.
Prepare People Ahead of Time
Email your clients to let them know that you’ll be traveling. Let them know this is a workation and you’ll be working, but may not be as available by email or phone as you normally are. Tell them what hours you will be available and set boundaries up front.
This goes for your travel mates too. Prepare them for the fact that you’ll be working and let them know what your work hours will be so that well-meaning friends and family aren’t interrupting you during those times.
Stop Answering Notifications
When work is over, turn off your notifications. You have set boundaries, you have met your commitments, and you are not at work anymore. That means no answering phones, no text messaging, no email checking, and no social media. Shut it off.
Make Plans to Enjoy Yourself and Stick to Them
Plan fun things and don’t let work get in the way. Enjoy the place you’re staying and the people around you. This is still a vacation and you need to have fun. If there’s an itinerary, work your job around it. Don’t be a workaholic on your workation.
Workationing has helped me find the balance between working and taking time off.
Have you taken a workation recently? What was the best part?