Balancing act: Follow these tips to disconnect from work while on vacation
— Feed your need to get things done. If you're the kind of person who is driven to check off items on your daily to-do list, you might miss that sense of accomplishment when you take a couple of days off. Instead of giving in to the urge to do some work for your office job, make a list of things you want to do around the house and mark those items off as you complete them.
— Remember that it's OK to relax. I would suggest adding "take a nap" to the list I mentioned in the previous tip. Don't feel guilty about slowing down. Read a book. Take a walk. Stare outside and enjoy the wonder of nature during a thunderstorm. Look for the little things that you usually don't stop long enough to enjoy during your busy everyday life.
— Don't kick yourself for checking in on work occasionally. If you spend a few minutes each day looking through work email or touching base with associates, that's probably fine. Just be sure that you set a strict time limit — I recommend 15 minutes or less — and schedule your check-in for a time that won't detract from activities with family and friends.
These tips are basic, but if you follow through, I believe you'll find that your time away from work will be more relaxing than you've experienced before. You'll head back to the office with the energy you need to write powerful memos, build convincing presentations and sweep to victory in your daily corporate battles.
If you have other tips for disconnecting from work during a vacation, please send them to me, and I'll share some of your ideas in a future column.