Laurie Swanson Blog

Be a Better Employee Vacate on Vacation AND at Work

I am currently in Sarasota, Florida. 
I travel here during the 39th week of every year- because that is the week of our timeshare.  
I could go other places with the timeshare but I always come back to Sarasota.  

The Unwanted Vacation Guest

For years my husband and I came down together but then his job changed and he could not get this week off so I started coming down with just the kids. Then they entered high school and it became too hard to take them out of school.
Enter friends and family. 
I love being able to share Sarasota, St. Armand’s Circle, Mote Marine, Philippi Creek and Nick’s Fish Camp with everyone.
But, no matter who comes or does not come to Sarasota with me, there is 1 thing I never leave behind: my work. 

Work is Not a Vacation

I have always worked while on vacation. I schedule calls in the morning, check in with the office at lunch and follow up on everything else in the evening. Plus, now that everything is hooked in to my cell phone, I am always informed. I can respond to emails all day long. Oh joy!  
By staying on top of things at work while I’m on vacation it is an easier reentry. 
There is some truth to that. 

My reasoning is not flawed.
But the bigger truth is that I never fully vacate. 
I come back from vacation knowing that all I did was change my view and the temperature outside but not my daily work routine.

I do not feel fully rested.
Like that vacation I was on was really just a dream I had the night before.

I feel resentful that I am back at work doing what I did while I was on vacation.


How Do You Define Vacation?

The word vacation is derived from the late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin vacatio(n-), from vacare ‘be unoccupied’.
To be unoccupied. 
Hey! There’s a concept.

Taking Unoccupied DOWN a Notch

This year I vow to do my vacation differently.
To embrace being unoccupied.
For starters, I am writing this blog on Sept 15th - 2 full weeks before I leave for Sarasota. It will be ready to go so I do not have to work on it during vacation.
I am also creating a Vacate on my Vacation Plan

I pledge to:
  • Walk the beach every morning before checking any emails or social. 
  • Spend every afternoon with a book or playing cards with my friends... and not thinking of work and what else I could be doing. If it is an emergency my team knows how to get me otherwise…it can wait!  
  • Be unoccupied by staying in the moment enjoying the space I am in and not thinking about what I should have done for work or need to get done for work.  

Take Unoccupied UP a Notch

Vacating is not only about leaving home. 
Vacating is a mindset.
Being unoccupied means not multi-tasking.

Not having all kinds of beeps and bings going off to shift your attention.  
It is about relaxing more.
It is about creating fun whenever possible.   
Vacating is a practice you can bring into your daily work routine.

Try This: Take Mini-Vacations

In the morning: wake up to some island music

At lunch: if only for 5 minutes, go outside and feel the sun on your face.

At work: when your computer is taking its sweet time loading, close your eyes and re-imagine a favorite vacation. Feel yourself there.

In the evening: plan some dinners of vacation-themed foods from places you have visited while on vacation or would like to visit.

In the evening:  watch shows that get you in the vacation mood. Check out Mr. Bean’s Holiday!

In general: plan time for fun. Have a party. Go to dinner with friends. Go kayaking or to your closest large city and be like a tourist.  Relax on your back patio with your favorite beverage.

Be the best unoccupied employee ever!
Are you ready to make your career feel like a mini-vacation. Let’s schedule a time to talk.
Check out my new Calendar Scheduling tool. It has given me time back which allows me more time to vacate and be unoccupied.

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