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11 Ways to De-Stress Your Own Vacation by Dale Collie
It comes as no surprise that holiday vacations generate a lot of
stress. Hectic travel plans, added expenses, and family reunions
can take the joy out of the holidays. You return to work more
frazzled than when you left.
Vacations and holidays are supposed to be times of rest and
recreation, a time to drop off some of that workplace stress and
relax. Instead of joking about coming back to work to rest up,
you should have pleasant memories about the vacation and be even
more productive because of the break in your work routine.
Here are 11 ways you can de-stress the time off and boost your
1. Budget - The cost of your vacation should not come as a
surprise, and you donít need to max out your credit cards. As
soon as you finish this yearís vacation, plan for next year and
save money over the next several months. Instead of being
stressed by the high cost of travel and entertainment, youíll be
happy to know that itís already paid for.
2. Payroll - Ask your immediate supervisor and accounting to
double check your payroll records two weeks before your vacation
to make sure you don't have a problem with your compensation or
deductions while you're away. Even if everything has been
correct so far, Murphy's Law says that any problem that might
happen will happen while you are traveling and unable to get
things straightened out. You don't want to leave a trail of
bounced checks just because the company's direct deposit was
3. Teamwork - Work out a schedule with team members so they pick
up your workload while you're away. It's no fun to come back to
an inbox filled with work that someone else could have taken
care of in your absence. You can do the same for them while they
4. Work Is Off Limits - With a little practice you can get
someone else to take care of the details while you are on
vacation. Try not to check voice mail or emails until you return
to the office. Ask someone to check these electronic stressors
so you can enjoy your vacation.
5. Travel Planning - Ask human resources to coordinate an
in-house seminar on vacation planning. Local travel agents and
travel planners will be happy to explain their services and the
shortcuts they use. Expenses are minimal, and these experts know
how to save money, take the hassle out of planning, and answer
all your questions about transportation and your destination.
6. Preplanned Travel Packages - Find out whether your company's
travel agent can get you discounts for transportation,
accommodations, and destinations. Leveraging your company's
business volume with these agents should give you some savings.
7. Research - Check the internet for some great deals. Sites
such as these take a lot of guesswork out of your planning and
help you compare prices:
8. Schedule - Plan an extra half-day off before your vacation
begins. Management might give you this as comp time. You need
the time to make last minute arrangements: pets, houses, plants,
children, neighbors, etc. Taking care of the details can add a
lot of stress to an already overloaded schedule.
9. Priorities - You might find yourself working all night before
your departure if you don't get input from the boss on which
work is highest priority. Arrange for a thirty minute conference
with your supervisor two weeks before your vacation to make sure
you both have the same priorities.
10. While You Were Out - You can cut out a lot of stress upon
your return by asking your supervisor to make daily notes on the
calendar about what happened while you were away. You'll be up
to speed your first day back if you replace the usual "Oh,
nothing much" comment with a list of what went on in your
absence. And ask your boss to schedule a half hour upon your
return just to talk about work details that will help you be
11. Take Time To Enjoy Yourself - You can string your vacation
out over the entire year if you only take a day or two at at
time. But you'll enjoy the time far more if you schedule a full
week or two. Use the first half to unwind and the second half to
relax and enjoy yourself.
Use the time between vacations to plan, schedule, and save the
money you'll need to enjoy yourself. Your boss will appreciate
the increased productivity as much as you appreciate the time
Copyright 2010 - Dale Collie - All Rights Reserved
Dale Collie, author and professional speaker, named by Fast
Company as one of Americaís Fast 50 innovative leaders.
Experience as Fortune 500 executive and business owner, US Army
Ranger and professor at West Point. His book Winning under
Fire (McGraw-Hill) is published in English, Russian, and Chinese. www.CourageBuilders.com
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