How to work on vacation (if you really have to)

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Vacations exist for a reason, and that’s to get away from the stress of work. It’s meant to be one of the few times in the year when you can log off and forget what’s waiting for you in the office. Unfortunately, that isn’t always possible. For some, even a week is too long for them to be away from work, and they end up having to pull out their laptop while on vacation. If you’re one of those people, here are some things to keep in mind so you can get your work done without ruining your time off.

Have a schedule

If you know you’re going to be working on vacation before you leave, it’s a good idea to establish a schedule for when you’ll be on the clock. This should be shorter than your regular work hours, and it’s crucial that you stick to them as close as possible. After all, if you’re just going to spend your free time working, what’s the point of going on vacation in the first place?

Inform your co-workers before you leave of when this schedule is so that they only try to contact you when you’re in work mode. Also, put some thought into when you’re going to work on vacation so that it fits into your plans. If you have kids, you want to be working at a time when they’re distracted and not looking to get your attention.

Keep things stress-free

At all costs, you should try and avoid doing anything that’s going to require too much thought. Checking emails or answering calls is perfectly acceptable, but things shouldn’t get much more stressful than that. If you put too much on your plate, then you’re just going to spoil your vacation. You won’t be able to relax once you put your laptop down, and you’ll spend the rest of your time away wanting to tear your hair out. Vacations aren’t always easy to come by, so the last thing you want to do is waste them.

If necessary, ask your co-workers to do some of your more significant tasks while you’re off. You can return the favor when they go away, and it will stop you from doing too much at once. The point of working on vacation is to prevent things from building up too much, not to continue your nine to five.

Check the internet

The likelihood is that you won’t be able to get much done if you don’t have a decent internet connection. Before you leave, it’s important to try and check what the situation is where you’re staying. That way, you avoid complications while on vacation. Slow internet is going to make things take longer when you’re away, which in turn will drive up your stress levels. If you’re unsure what the situation will be, or you need to have a better connection, there are some things you can do.

You can try a tethering plan with your smartphone, or use it as a wireless hotspot. You could also utilize a power strip and Wi-Fi router to make using the internet in a hotel easier. Alternatively, you could save some of the bandwidth-heavy jobs for places where the internet is better. You might find that a local coffee shop will give you the connection you need for these bigger tasks. It will also allow you to set up a makeshift office somewhere away from your room.

It’s important not to let working on vacation get the best of you. You’re meant to be having a break so you can come back refreshed, rather than just as stressed as when you left. If you don’t prioritize relaxation over your work, then all you’re doing is wasting your money on a glorified business trip. If at any point you feel like don’t want to work, then switch that laptop off and go have fun. Your job will still be there when you come back home.

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