That was a lightbulb moment, as I realized that we drove 1,200 miles (with kids!) so I could play on my computer!?
I closed the laptop, put on my jacket, laced up my snow boots, and went outside.
Here are some tips for unplugging during your (well deserved) time off
By definition, vacation is TIME off. We only have so much time, so here are some tips to help you recharge your batteries.
Notify clients that you’re going on vacation
In addition to my full-time gig here at WDS, I also have a few personal clients who have me on retainer. A quick email or phone call to let them know you’ll be on vacation goes a long way. Hey, when a client is on vacation, they’re probably not thinking about their website…so it’ll be OK. I promise!
Put your laptop/tablet somewhere out of sight
As obvious as this is, the old saying of “out of sight, out of mind” is totally true. If you don’t notice your laptop/tablet on the countertop, you’re less likely to grab it. I did check my emails occasionally during our trip, but only after the kids were in bed. And none of my emails were important. Zero.
Sign-out off work stuff on your phone
Before I left, I signed out of Skype, HipChat, Gmail, and muted GroupMe. There’s no reason to pay attention to any of these notifications while on vacation. If the boss needed to get a hold me, they have my phone number.
Another no-brainer, but there aren’t usually power outlets and Wi-Fi outside. This forces you to enjoy nature!
Build something with your hands
I realize that not everyone has access to a workshop in the backyard…but stay with me here. We built all kinds of things. My son is a scout, so we made deer antler knives, walking sticks, beaded necklaces. You don’t need to raise a barn! It costs very little to visit Hobby Lobby and hand-craft something…anything!
I cannot put into words just how satisfying it was to build something that didn’t exist on a server.
Most of you have a deck of cards laying around. Some of you even have some board games! My 2-year old sure enjoyed playing Connect Four. In-fact, my daughter’s laughter was so infectious, the entire family ended up playing!
In the end…
Taking our time off allows us to avoid burnout, and be more productive when we return. What are some of the ways you make your self take a break?