Lesson #4: Take a vacation

My longest run was nine miles. A few weeks ago, I ran the three-mile loop at Rockland Lake State Park, located in Valley Cottage, New York, three times. Before then, my longest run was five miles. How were my legs able to manage the extra mileage? I took a 60-second break after each loop.

Lesson #4: Take a vacation.

When running, taking a break can recharge your body. The same philosophy can be applied to work. Taking a vacation can recharge your mind. A vacation enables you to rest and reflect. It allows you to take care of personal obligations and fulfill leisure activities that are on your bucket list.

Follow these tips to prepare for your vacation so you can recharge and de-stress.

1. Finish necessary work tasks in advance.

Ask your boss if he/she needs anything completed before your vacation begins. If you’re involved in a team project, finish your part so your colleagues can continue the work during your absence. You may end up working overtime; however, the overtime will be worth it when you don’t need to stress about work during your break.

2. Identify an out-of-office contact.

Ask your colleague to serve as the person whom others can contact if they have questions or need assistance. Mention him/her as the contact in your out-of-office email reply and voice mailbox greeting. Make sure your colleague is an appropriate contact or, at a minimum, knows how to find answers. Offer to be the out-of-office contact for when he/she takes a vacation.

3. Don’t check your email too much.

The point of identifying an out-of-office contact is so you don’t need to constantly check-in; however, you might want to check email once a day (even if you don’t respond to any) to avoid potential surprises when you return to the office.

4. Create a list of things you want to do.

Make sure your vacation does not go to waste. Plan a trip to the place you’ve been dying to visit. Plan a stay-cation if you can’t go away. Get a massage. Have brunch with your friend. Catch up on your favorite TV show. You can even schedule doctors’ appointments to get them out of the way.

5. Don’t overdo it.

Remember, the reason why you need a vacation is to recharge. You should feel a sense of accomplishment after doing the things you wanted to do; however, if you overdo it, you will not be relaxed and ready to go back to work once your vacation is over.

Did you learn this lesson yet? Share your story in the comments section.

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