Personal holidays are a wonderful thing. Passport, Sun lotion, swimwear, comfortable clothing, children, work laptop…how many of you pack your work phone or work laptop when you go on ‘holiday’?
For too many years I found it really difficult to switch off from work. I was working in a global world, with globally colleagues and team members. I still felt I needed to stay online, even when I was taking time out with my family. My children demanded me to stop, my colleagues needed my attention.
I always remember joining a new company in 2010 as a Global Sales Leader, and heading off for a holiday right in the middle of a very large global proposal. As part of the holiday I would drive every morning up to the top of a hill to have access to WIFI (it was less established back then and the signal in Cornwall was not great) to check my emails. During the holiday I even had the pleasure or attending a 60 minute conference call with around 20 colleagues from a telephone box! The defining moment was when a tractor drove past and I had no ability to mute my phone (cue hand over receiver hoping the sound is not picked up!).
For many years I would have to carefully negotiate with my wife and children to take time to do work whilst I was away.
I guess what I am trying to say is there are many of us who struggle to switch off during holidays due to ‘work tasks and objectives’. Although I have found over the past years more people are switching off. I have now made adjustments to my life and routines to help me.
I am actually writing this on my own holiday. But I am ok with this. For me a holiday is about breaking away from my normal work routines. I have managed to to negotiate to have time to do things that I choose, that I want to do…and sometimes I choose to do some writing (this article), not work.
I recently read an interesting article on this topic ‘How to switch off from work over the holidays’, and read with interest;
‘Reframe your holiday as an enhancement tool’. Reframe your holiday as an opportunity to enhance your performance back at work. A change of scenery can shift you into a more constructive mindset and spark creative problem-solving ideas, especially if you are taking part in activities that enable your mind to wander. Uninterrupted time away from work helps enhance wellbeing and help you immerse in non-work activities.’
I find it incredibly relaxing and therapeutic to write, I wish I had more time to do so. This is the challenge I am going to take forward to find more time to write in the future.
For now it’s time to move…we are heading off swimming now!
How do you find switching off for Holiday? Easy or Hard?
Matthew Holman, June 2022