While you can’t go on a vacation like you have been planning or even like the ones you have had in the past, you can and should still schedule a stay-cation and put down the work. You need the mental break!
At the start of the pandemic in the US, I recorded an episode about preparing your team for your next vacation. Oh yes, this was during the time that we thought we would be back in the office by July and life would be more normal than not. Fast forward to today and we know just how wrong that was. But the training that I shared, the methods you need to follow to prepare your team to run the business in your absence still holds true.
You need to take the mental break a vacation affords you. If you are like me, and I’m sure you are, you push yourself hard while you are at work. You are problem solving, negotiating, influencing, building, and changing. This takes a significant amount of mental focus and energy. So let me tell you that I love vacations! I love knowing that for a few days during a set period of time, I can step away from the business world and simply enjoy life without distractions. I also love to travel as I have shared in past episodes so that’s always a benefit of vacations as well.
But don’t let the fact that you can’t travel outside of your home or your local city hold you back from taking the mental break that you need in order to continue to be the creative, problem solver, strategic thinker that you are. If vacations are about getting away from the business and taking the mental break, a stay-cation can accomplish that just the same. So take a stay-cation.
The key here though is that you must step away from work just like you would on a travel vacation. If you don’t, the entire point of the stay-cation is lost. So how can you do that?
It’s the same theories that I shared relative to preparing your team that I shared in that earlier episode back in April. You need your team to know the details, have the answers, be able to make the decisions, and run the business without you. If you haven’t prepared them for that, that’s step one.
Additionally, you can’t be sending them messages while you are away to “simply check on things.” Nope. That’s not a mental break. Set expectations around the types of issues or events that need to be shared with you should they occur while you are away from the computer. Then tell them how you want them to communicate those situations with you. Just like we discussed yesterday, having proper communication methods established will allow you to take the break without feeling like you have to check your phone every 10 minutes.
Last but not least, you can put apps on your phone that prevent you from accessing other apps. Or, you can use the features built into most phones and tablets that prevent you from using an app after so many minutes. It essentially locks you out. You can have your spouse or friend create a password for the app and have them keep that password confidential from you. Then put the app on your phone, computer, tablet, etc. and lock out the work apps. You can also set time limits set for email and texting, etc. so that you are forced to break away from technology and try to breathe for a few days.
Whatever methods you put into place, the point is that you should create some sort of methodology to allow yourself the mental break of a stay-cation. Schedule yours today, prepare your team, prepare yourself, and then take a breather. You deserve it!