Your holiday is usually not a surprise. Admit it. You’ve booked it well in advance, checked out the local restaurants and nightlife and now you’re counting down the days. But while you are on it, you realize that many times you did not manage to enjoy it 100%.

Your body is in holiday mode but your brain is in work mode thanks to mails, messages or calls. Even the most paradisiacal beach most likely has coverage meaning you can’t relax, or really disconnect.

So, here’s my five tips to really disconnect from work on your holiday. Making a true connection with yourself will in turn help you better reconnect with work on your return:

1. Think of your holiday as a commitment

A commitment to yourself and your physical, mental and even spiritual state. It is not only a legal norm in most countries, it is some much needed ‘me time’ to focus on yourself, your motivations and dreams, and recharge your batteries. If you allow work into that vacation space you won’t succeed in achieving your ‘me time’.

A group of hikers taking a selfie in the outdoors. disconnect on vacation, holiday, work-life balance, unplug, outdoor, work, detox
Take the time to enjoy your life outside of work.

2. Promote trust

If you manage a team or work in pairs, show the confidence you have in your colleagues to solve the situations that may arise during your absence. This also requires a commitment on your side to leave a clear handover so they can stand in for you during that time.

3. Turn off notifications

A man jumping in the desert. disconnect on vacation, holiday, work, detox

It’s basic but it works. We may have the best intentions to disconnect, but the temptation of checking e-mails or messages arises if we see a notification. Let your team know you will not be checking your phone or laptop and tell them how to contact you in case of emergencies.

4. Prepare your out of office

Don’t feel guilty putting on your out of office. Instead, leave a celebratory note so people who e-mail know not to disturb you and who to contact in your absence.

5. Add sports to your holiday mix

You can spend your holiday lying on the beach all day, but there will come a time when you will look for something more. Include a daily routine of 40 minutes of sport such as yoga, running or a game that you prefer.

A man climbing in the rocks. disconnect on vacation, holiday, unplug, work, detox, work-life balance
Find the activity that is right for you.

By sticking to my five tips above I manage to practice that ‘me time’ and feel better equipped to return to the office.

What do you do to truly disconnect and enjoy your holiday? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments below.


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by Dan Sorensen 01.08.2019
This is so true, after years of answering my phone and replying to texts/emails while on holiday I made the decision to fully "disconnect" which meant relinquishing control first of all, but also needs to be supported by your team and your boss.

I have separate phones for work and personal and where I work now I'm fortunate to be supported by a great team who are perfectly capable of dealing with 90% of what is likely to happen while I'm away for a few days and, thanks to the management culture, if there is anything they don't have the capability to action then my boss has no problem stepping in and sorting it in my absence if it cant wait until I'm back.

I used to dread taking time off and that first day back but now I relish it and am able to enjoy my break up until the last minute as I know I won't be heading back to a pile of the proverbial!
by Valentina Gonzalez 01.08.2019
Amazing tips and so true!!
We do have "Disconnect and reconnect" to be a 100% recharged so we can work hard and be lit