Over the past few decades, millions of American workers have bought into the “cult of busy” — so much so that 59% of millennials report feeling “shame” for taking a vacation. And it turns out that our days off aren’t really so “off” after all: Many of us admit to carving out a few hours of each vacation day to do work, or taking work calls on holidays.
A recent study by researchers from Columbia University, Harvard, and Georgetown found that when subjects were told a person was busy, they immediately perceived that person as more competent, ambitious and successful. Whereas leisure and luxury goods were once aspirational status symbols, the new status symbol is having no time for leisure at all.
Studies show that vacations are crucial for our physical and mental health. They substantially decrease our risk of heart attacks and depression, lower our blood pressure, and improve our sleep. They also help with family cohesion — allowing us to create new memories with our loved ones. And vacations even improve our work, allowing us to feel more engaged.
Here are some tips to help you be totally off on your next vacation.
1. Schedule Vacations in Advance
If you keep waiting until “later” to request time off, you may never get the chance. Flip through your calendar to find a time to get out of town — or at least to get away from work.
2. Get Organized Before You Leave
For a guilt-free break, strive to complete important tasks and delegate ongoing work before your vacation begins.
3. Set Your Out-of-Office Auto-Reply
Make sure to include another colleague’s contact information for notifications that can’t wait until your return. You may also want to ask a trusted coworker to monitor your inbox while you’re away, just to make sure nothing crucial slips through the cracks.
4. Turn Off Your Phone Notifications
Try to resist checking your work email entirely, but if you find yourself feeling more anxious that way, limit yourself to a quick scan of your inbox no more than once a day. Leave your phone behind whenever you can.
5. Don’t Overschedule Your Days
If you’re traveling somewhere new, you might be tempted to pack your trip with sightseeing excursions and tours. Try to resist the impulse to schedule more than one organized activity per day — remember how fleeting time off really is, and make sure you actually enjoy it.
Want to plan an escape to nature for your next vacation? Book your Getaway today.