If there was ever a time to get away and relax, now is that time. Even if it’s just a short vacation for a few days, it’s important to be able to disconnect, get into some new surroundings, and use that time to recharge our batteries, improve our health, and increase our productivity.
And while we take vacations to get away from work and home for a while, it’s not always possible to get completely away from work. Of course, you are entitled to that time off and you should absolutely take it just so you can recharge your batteries. But if, for any reason, you still need to get work done while you’re on vacation, there are ways to do it.
Here are five ways you can still get work done while you’re on vacation.
1. Manage expectations early Tell people you’re going on a trip, and find people to manage certain tasks for you. If there are projects due, write them in advance. Tell clients and colleagues that you’ll be out of the office. Be sure to set an email auto-responder with a vacation message a week before you leave, so people will be reminded a couple of times. All of this should free you up for smaller tasks that pop up while you’re away.
2. Only check emails once or twice a day. Email has been not only a boon for productivity, it has turned into a major time-waster as well. How many of us leave our emails open all day, responding to every message that hits our inbox. If you’re working on a project and have to respond every five minutes to a new email, you’ll never get anything done. If you only have to check your emails twice a day, that lets you schedule fun activities around that work. And if you’re already pushing out a lot of tasks until after your return, you can reduce the number of things you have to do on your vacation to just a few.
You can also set an auto-response message a few months in advance announcing your email schedule, so people know this is how you work, and don’t expect an answer from you five minutes after you send it. Then, just respond to your messages early in the morning or later at night.
3. Put all important documents in the cloud.
Now that we can access the Internet from anywhere, there’s no need to haul paper files with you wherever you go. Whether you use a laptop, a tablet and Bluetooth keyboard, or even a mobile phone, you can access information if it’s stored in the cloud.
Use Google Drive, Evernote, Microsoft Office 365, or even Dropbox to keep your documents securely stored. And, depending on how much work you need to do, you can even get it done with a tablet and Bluetooth keyboard.
4. Work with the lightest, smallest equipment
Speaking of tablets and Bluetooth keyboards, this is a great backup method if your laptop fails, but it’s also a great way to lighten your load when you go on vacation. As long as you have wifi and a power source at your destination, you can work with just the tablet-and-keyboard combination. It’s much lighter and a little more versatile — you can sit more comfortably and relax while you scroll through emails or read for work. Plus, leaving your laptop behind also keeps it safer, because it’s locked up in your home or in your office.
5. Take a longer vacation in exchange for working
If your employer gives you a vacation period, then you’re reasonably expected to be able to not work at all while you’re on vacation. You don’t get to take a nap or watch TV at work, do you? So why do you have to work when you’re on your vacation time?
Negotiate with your employer to let you take longer vacations if you’re going to have to work while you’re there. Or if you’re a small business owner, turn your vacation into a working vacation. I know a few entrepreneurs who would take two-week vacations to our fair state instead of one week, and schedule a couple of days to work each week, and even a couple hours late at night or early in the morning.
Do you take work with you on vacation? How do you manage it? Or are you fortunate enough to go without taking work with you? Tell us about it on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: ManuelDesign20 (Pixabay.com, Creative Commons 0)