Do you NEED a holiday to get away from work? If so, are you really switching off, or do you stay connected?
Its something that’s come up a lot with the client conversations I’ve had this last month…
Back in the day I would generally keep connected with work, the thought of not being contactable or available just didn’t even enter my mind as an option. When I first started out as a coach working for myself the thought of not being available for clients or missing out on an opportunity meant keeping an eye on the socials or emails… but my last week away my mind was really empty of work (I unsuccessfully used the week away to get a bit of work thinking done), a first!
A client I caught up with this week told me that this holiday was the first one he had switched off completely – a first for some time.

We agreed that for both of us, switching off really gave us the rest and recovery we needed and wanted. Our holidays were more enjoyable, we were present with those with us, we fully embraced the time away and were not beholden to checking in.

The more we talked the more we realized that its not simply the case of saying that we are going to switch off, its more than that. For me, its accepting and feeling OK that I’m not contactable, to communicate with clients that I’m away. For my client, its the work he has done to share and build trust with those around him so that work carries on… to understand and appreciate the need for other parts of his life to take priority, to successfully set boundaries without the guilt or need for willpower – to own it.

The holiday we both experienced is a result of the work we have both done in other areas – from boundary setting, delegating, communication, lifestyle, understanding what rest and recovery does for us…. gave us the breaks that we wanted!

For other clients – this is work in progress, whether it be switching off sooner (not needing a few days to get work out of their head), to being able to leave the laptop/ phone at home, to not having work on their mind…. something to work on before their next break!
Photo from my trip to the Cotswolds…..

Some tips for making the most of that time away…

  1. Agree some boundaries if you need to be contactable – do you set hours/ days that you will connect?
  2. Tie up loose ends – whether that be a ‘to do list’ for others, some instructions on what to do, or simply handing over tasks.
  3. Let people know you are away – give them some notice so that they can contact you before you go away if they need to.
  4. Put an OOO on and give instructions on what to do in your absence.
  5. Talk to those you are going away with and let them know what your intend to do on holiday – this will avoid conflict, disappointment or impossible expectations.