Vacations are good for you. People who take vacations are less likely to have heart problems, more likely to get quality sleep, and often experience a remarkable reduction in chronic stress. Your employer benefits too, in reduced employee sick time and increased job productivity. However, the key to making the most of your precious vacation days is to make sure you can really unwind. Here are three keys to doing just that.
Travel to a Chill Destination
Whirlwind tours and theme parks have their place, but when you need to relax and refresh, choose a destination that will allow you to enjoy free time. Beachfront locations like bald head island rentals in North Carolina are perfect for encouraging downtime. With no bustling city life and not a car on the island you can devote your time to birdwatching, kayaking or simply meandering along one of the 14 miles of sandy beach.
Clear Your Schedule—Really
Some people carve out vacation time during their busy season so they don’t get a chance to truly relax. Don’t fool yourself: taking business calls, answering emails and researching prospective clients are work activities even if they are done beside a hotel pool. Do yourself and your workplace a favor. Schedule your time off when your tasks can be done by colleagues, prepare well ahead of time and let your boss know you will check in only once or twice rather than daily. When you return your increased productivity will more than make up for any inconvenience.
Leave the Laptop Home
Anything that will present a temptation to work must be left at home. If you want to avoid burnout, laptop computers, client files and business journals have no place on your holiday. Be careful of your smartphone, too; you will want it with you for its navigational assistance and entertainment features but disable features that alert you to incoming work communication. If you don’t, that little device may hijack the whole trip.