Doing Vacation Right



I think most of us know that taking vacation is good for our well-being. If you are like me, maybe your family did not take many vacations. My family’s vacation was driving from Detroit to Georgia or Alabama to visit my grandparents. We never went out to eat because eating food my Grandmother’s and Aunt’s had prepared is what vacation seemed to be centered around. I hope this doesn’t come off wrong because I absolutely loved my family’s vacations AND THE FOOD. I never knew or wanted to know anything different.

Now that I am an adult though, I think I finally figured out how to take a different kind of vacation. Just like most things that end up working out well for me, I have to look back to see what just happened. How was I able to leave work and not let my mind constantly think about what was happening while I was not there? Well, I have to be honest, I wasn’t able to totally separate. Let me explain what I think allowed me to say “I think I finally did vacation right.”

First, 5 or 6 six weeks before I took a planned vacation I started what I call “Project: Electronic Organization.” I reached out to four professionals to help me get better organized. I needed to learn how to utilize the tools at my disposal. These professionals taught me how to integrate Reminders/ Tasks, Email flagging and file folders, Microsoft OneNote, and Notes. I blocked out time on my calendar to clean and organize emails. I am now fully electronic which finally allowed me to get ahead with my communication. Communicating with everyone ahead of my vacation is what I think was the main ingredient. I had confidence that everyone would take care of everything in my absence.

Now while I was on vacation, I didn’t totally turn off my emails. I normally wake up early so I dedicated 30 minutes to cleaning and keeping my emails organized. I wrote a blog because I have come to enjoy writing my thoughts in small messages. I wrote a few emails and saved them in my drafts to send once I returned from vacation. I didn’t respond to any text messages but I wrote notes in my reminders so when I returned to work I wouldn’t be lost. I had two important meetings during my vacation so I delegated the leading responsibilities.

Ok, I know that seems like a lot of work! But, for the rest of the day during vacation week I was right here, right now – totally in the present. I took deep breaths and some nice walks on the beach. I took a nap every day and enjoyed my time with family and friends. Everything seemed to slow down and I was able to fully relax. Isn’t that what vacation is supposed to be about? I know I’m just a rookie at what I think is doing vacation right, but it felt different and I was fully rejuvenated. I am looking forward to the next vacation to make sure this wasn’t a fluke.

If you have some other ideas, please share!

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