July 8, 2021

By Mark David

It’s Summer! Time to use some of those vacation days you’ve earned to unplug, relax, recharge and spend some well-deserved time off with your family. Or not. 😉 

I’m sure you read this and laughed but I’m also sure that many of you can relate and have experienced the tether of work in some way, shape or form while you’re ‘out-of-office’. I know it can be hard to schedule time off – there’s always going to be projects, deadlines and demands on your time – but there’s also a few things you can do, that will make your time off more relaxing and much less stressful.

Below are five vacation tips that I’ve used myself and shared with many of my clients that really work. 

Tip #1 – What Gets Written Gets Done

The first and most important piece of advice I can give you about your vacation is to envision it, and make it alive in you, as if it’s already happened!

Let’s use the strategy, ‘What Gets Written Gets Done’. Use the outline below to write out how you want your vacation to go – what are your goals, objectives, hopes, expectations, and outcomes of your trip? Write it as if it has happened. 

Use your five senses – sight, sound, smell, touch, taste – and describe each sense as if it happened to you on your vacation. Build in emotions of gratitude, excitement and positivity. Write it as if you’re experiencing your vacation ‘movie’ playing on the big screen in your mind’s eye movie theater.

After you write out your vision, read it once or twice a day. Let it fill you with happiness and gratitude. Allow your subconscious to take hold and begin creating your vacation vision. The day before you leave on vacation, fold it up and put it in an envelope or your desk drawer. When you return, read it again and I think you’ll be amazed at how much of what you wrote actually happened. Often times, the Universe delivers something even better and more wonderful than anything we could have imagined. 

VISION:  (Desired Future State) Write a description of your Vision. Be as detailed as possible.

5 Senses Overview of Your Vision: Write your 5 senses overview as if it has happened. Once written the key is to internally feel it.

I hear… I see… I smell… I taste… I touch…

Tip #2 – Lifeline

Create a lifeline for those individuals that, for whatever reason, might need to reach you while you’re on vacation. 

Hopefully you don’t have a lingering project or hot prospect that can’t wait a week or two while you’re away. But, if you do, give yourself a break and give that person permission to reach out to you any time.

What you don’t want to be doing on vacation is having your reptilian brain worrying and focusing on ‘what if’ scenarios “What if something happens with the project I’m working on? What if my client has an important need and can’t reach me?” Rarely will you get a panicked call or e-mail, but it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that, if they do need you, you’ll be the first to know. 

With all that said, do what you can to create a plan to have your team/organization handle any potential ‘fires’ that might come up while you’re away. Truly, anything can happen, and I’ve experienced so many one offs over the years. Take care of 99% of possible scenarios before you leave and set-up a protocol for the 1% ‘one off’ if it happens. Remember, “you have to give up control to get control.”

Tip #3 – Extend Your Vacation 

Extend your vacation by two days. Don’t go back to work the day after you return from vacation – give yourself two days to decompress, catch up on home/family matters so that you’re fully prepared to go back to work.  

Taking a few extra days off to catch up before going back to work is the difference between feeling tired, rushed and unprepared and feeling totally recharged, with tons of energy and happy to be back in the swing of things.

I know you’re thinking, “I can’t do that. I have meetings, appointments, etc.”, but you can and should. You have accrued more than enough time and your company will be getting so much more from you.

Tip #4 – Postcards

Have you ever received a postcard in the mail and thought, “This is cool! No one sends postcards anymore!” Well, you do!

Before you leave on your trip, prepare a list of family, friends, colleagues and clients you’d like to send a note to. Write the notes before you leave on vacation – make it short and customized in the person’s language. Every gift shop, market and gas station carry postcards. Pick up a few along your travels, write your message and send them off.

People love getting postcards. They don’t get thrown away; they get saved. And when you get back from vacation, these folks will thank you for thinking of them. It’s a small gesture that’ll go a long way. 

Tip #5 – I’m Back!

The day before you go back to work, write a short, high energy, thoughtful email about your wonderful, relaxing and fun vacation. Share some highlights, adventures, and challenges that were overcome. Make your vacation a human-interest story and send it out the morning you return to work.

I’ve had clients share their vacation stories with me and so many times people have revelatory ‘aha moments’ during their downtime. This time of relaxation, stillness and self-care is inspiring and rejuvenating and so often people bring that renewed energy back with them. 

Share your vacation story along with your enthusiasm that you’re back and your commitment to making yourself, team, organization, and company even more successful. 

Enjoy your vacation! I expect a postcard. 😊

Appreciate the Day,

Mark David

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