Unplugging During the Holidays
Pumpkin spice lattes brewing, candles lit, sweaters on, and ABC 25 days of Christmas playing in the background. What does that mean? It means fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are here! The time of year that everyone has been waiting for is finally upon us. With the best months ahead come many distractions. Close friends and family in town, vacations left and right, and good recipes are waiting to be made. Here are some tips on how to unplug during the holiday season.
1. Plan Ahead
We all know that work never stops (or so it seems), but we need to remember it will always be right there waiting for us when we get back. Make a list of things that must get done before you take off and plan accordingly. With a plan in place, you will be more inclined to fully unplug at peace. At our digital marketing agency, we do a coverage plan where we task out our assignments to the right team members that will help cover for us while we are gone on our holiday break. This ensures your work is done and you don’t have a pile of work when you return with angry client work emails filling your inbox.
2. Plan Time Off
If you say “I will take the day off when I finish this or that” the day will never come. Make it a priority to plan the days you will be taking off from work and stick to that. Planning is fun for some and not for others, but either way it will get you thinking about your trip more than work. The LA Times recently published an article on vacation anticipation and how much of a stress relief it can provide. Don’t discount the impact a good trip can have on your mental health! Of course all the while being safe and socially distant during this time. You can still enjoy your time off traveling during this pandemic with the right safety precautions for the perfect holiday vacation.
3. Turn off Your Notifications
Now this one is hard. You cannot fully unplug from work with your phone going off every couple minutes from a boss, coworker, or client. Turn off the notifications and do not turn them back on until your days off have come to an end. Try not to check your email inbox, Slack, or work computer either. The more you stay away from technology, the more you can relax and enjoy your vacation with a digital detox.
4. Commit to Fully Unplugging
Everyone can take a day off, but to fully unplug is rare. When you truly take the time to disconnect from your work for the allotted time, you will be more productive and have that drive when you return. Scheduling out this time in advance is a great way to hold yourself accountable and best prepare yourself to fully unplug so you can enjoy your time. Even blocking off an hour a day for a walk without your phone is a great way to unplug midday or in the evening as you look to wind down for a digital recharge.
5. Don’t Make Work Your “Escape”
Feeling the need to escape family, whether virtually or in-person? Hey, it happens! And who are we kidding? It happens more during the holidays — even if we’ve had some mandatory time off from relatives this year! But this does not mean you need to turn to your work emails or Slack when you’re feeling the itch to get some alone time. While it may feel more “normal” now to work in any setting, try to make your holiday getaway the exception to this.
Feeling overwhelmed or not so social? Step outside and get some fresh air! Bring a book and check out for a bit in a quiet room. Play with a dog. Do anything but reach for your phone to see how that campaign is doing, when you know your team has your back you can relax. Studies show that unplugging will overall level-up your productivity, and taking vacations may extend your lifespan, so maybe we should all take vacations more seriously!
6. Make it a Detox
If you’re planning to take time off from work this holiday season, you have the perfect opportunity to not only unplug from your work, emails, and Slack, but also from social media as a whole. Take advantage of this OOO time to check in with yourself and improve your mental, physical, and emotional health. Cut the endless scrolling while you’re on vacation and maximize the hours you have to live meaningfully.