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10 Things You Should Not Do During Vacations From Work

10 Things You Should Not Do During Vacations From Work

When you take real vacations from work it is a sacred time. You’re spending time away from the office and relaxing. It’s a ritual millions of people follow every year because if you work constantly then you’d probably go totally insane. There are a lot of people who still get roped into doing stuff while on vacation so here is a small set of rules for when you’re on vacation.

1. Don’t answer any emails

There are few things on this planet that can derail a peaceful and relaxing day like getting an email from work. Usually if it comes to the point that you’re getting emails it means that there is a problem that they think only you can fix. Or (more likely) they don’t want to figure it out for themselves and would rather bother you on your time off. In either case you should not answer the email unless the words “life or death” are put in there and it’s literal. If you were supposed to be working you would be at work. You’re not because you’re on vacation. Put the laptop, phone, or tablet down and let them deal with it. Worst case scenario, you have to fix it when you come back to work next week.

2. Don’t be afraid to take your full vacation

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real vacations from work

    You cannot be fired for taking vacation time. According to a global survey, more than half of people don’t take their full vacation time. Of those that do, a measly 2% reported that they don’t interact with work at all. What kind of vacations are people taking these days? If the company didn’t want you to take a vacation then they wouldn’t give you vacation hours. Use your vacation time. That’s why you have it. For vacations!

    3. Don’t do any actual work

    We said earlier that you shouldn’t take any emails but we’re not stupid. If it’s a dire emergency or something that can be handled in a few minutes, you’re going to answer your emails anyway. If that happens then it happens. However, if you end up spending 6 hours on your laptop in your hotel room then you’re not on vacation. You’re working. There comes a point where you need to say “I’m on vacation and I’m sorry but someone else is going to have to handle this.” Don’t be rude about it but everyone knew you were going on vacation so they plenty of time to plan for your absence.

    4. Leave whatever city you live in

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    real vacations from work

      I know a number of people who take a vacation and then they don’t go anywhere. Sitting in the house (or apartment) for a week doing nothing is really just a really long day off. The point of a vacation is to get away from it all and enjoy yourself. It doesn’t have to be far. Take a 30 minute trip outside the city to go camping or drive a couple of hours to an amusement park. Something, anything to get you away from the stuff you see every day. Vacation isn’t just a break from work, it’s a break from life.

      5. Relieve yourself of the addicting work place

      You’re stressed out from work but there comes a certain warmth and joy from the job. Answering all those emails, getting work done, and those long nights at the office do have their benefits. You have a purpose and you feel important. The constant stimulus can be addicting. Being addicted to work is tough because most people who are addicted to work don’t even know it. If you would rather be at the office than drinking a beer and watching a sunset around a bonfire then there is something wrong. When you’re on vacation, try not to do things that remind you of work. If you sit in front of a computer screen, don’t go to Vegas and sit in front of a slot machine. That’s too similar to what you already do.

      6. Do something you’ve never done before

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      real vacations from work

        It can be anything. Have you ever tie dyed a t-shirt? Why not give that a shot? When you go on vacation, you’re forging new memories. It’s hard to do that if you don’t do anything out of your normal routine. If you drink beer and watch sports at home and then drink beer and watch sports on vacation then are you really going to find that vacation memorable? We talked earlier about going somewhere different so there are plenty of places around. When I was in Army Basic Training, my dad took a week long vacation to come down and see me when I graduated. We ended up going to a lot of different places including a restaurant that sold lizard. He didn’t much like the lizard but he did have a fun story to tell when he got home.

        7. Don’t spend the whole time in a phone or a laptop

        Just because you’re not using those devices for work doesn’t mean you should still be on them. Of course texting family or receiving calls are things you should still do but if you spent all that money and time getting to a ski resort only to sit in the main building, sip cocoa, and play the latest fad game (Swing Copters) then you’re doing it wrong. Those devices will be in your pocket or hotel room when you need them. Take a look around and enjoy your surroundings. Technology is great but technology is also always around. You’re not doing yourself any favors letting those LCD screens take up all of your time.

        8. Don’t talk yourself into hating your vacation

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        take real vacations from work

          You’ve probably seen a movie or two where someone is on vacation and they hate every second of it. Don’t be that person. If you’ve planned the trip and you’re on the flight then the deed has been done. Even if you don’t want to be on the vacation you should try to toss your worries aside and try to enjoy yourself. There is no use being negative over something you can’t fix so you might as well try to enjoy it!

          9. Don’t forge to splurge a little

          When I went on vacation to Cocoa Beach, Florida, I made it my mission in life to go find a Ron Jon Surf Shop and buy something. Why? Where I live (in Ohio), we don’t have a Ron Jon Surf Shop and buying something from them online felt like a cop out. I ended up buying a t-shirt and shorts but I ended up not tying the shorts when I went swimming in the ocean and the ocean took my shorts. As embarrassing of a story as that is, it’s something I can laugh about now and I still have that $30 t-shirt to help me remember that time Cocoa Beach ate my swimming trunks. By spending a few bucks and getting something nice from the place you go to, you have a commemorative decoration that will help remind you that there are things other than work.

          10. Enjoy yourself

          real vacations from work

            If you’re not enjoying yourself then your vacation was not successful. Go have a few drinks, go scuba diving, go read a book on a beach somewhere. Whatever you enjoy doing you should be doing. Don’t go somewhere or do something because it’s the socially accepted practice for vacations. If you like ice and snow, vacation to Alaska. If you want to go back to your hometown and visit your family then go do that. The point is that you should be relaxing, enjoying yourself, and no worrying about life.

            Featured photo credit: HQ Wallbase via hqwallbase.com

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            Joseph Hindy

            A writer, editor, and YouTuber who likes to share about technology and lifestyle tips.

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            Last Updated on January 21, 2020

            How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

            How to Increase Work Productivity: 9 Ground Rules

            We all have those days when completing our assigned tasks seems beyond reach. With the temptation of social media, mobile games, and the internet in general—not to mention the constant bustle of people in the office—it’s easy to fall prey to disruptions and distractions at work.

            So, what can we do about it? How to be productive at work?

            While we don’t have a foolproof system that can completely eliminate disturbances and diversions, we do have 9 ground rules that can be applied to help give your productivity levels a boost.

            Keep reading to find out our tips on work productivity.

            What Does It Mean to Be Productive?

            How to be productive at work?” is the age-old question plaguing employees and employers alike around the world. Regardless of where you work and what you do, everyone is always looking for new ways to be more efficient and effective.

            But what does being productive actually entail?

            Completing more tasks on your list or working longer hours doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being more productive. It just means you’re more busy, and productivity shouldn’t be confused with busyness.

            Productivity means achieving effective results in as short amount of time as possible, leaving you with more time to enjoy freely.

            It involves working smarter, not harder. It means refining processes, speeding up workflows, and reducing the chances of interruptions.

            Productivity is best achieved when looking at your current way of working, identifying the bottlenecks, flaws, and hindrances, and then finding ways to improve.

            9 Ground Rules on How to Be Productive at Work

            1. Avoid Multitasking

            Multitasking can give the impression that more tasks can be accomplished as you’re doing multiple things at once. However, the opposite is true.

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            Research has shown that attempting to do several things at the same time takes a toll on productivity and that shifting between tasks can cost up to 40 percent of someone’s time.[1] That’s because your focus and concentration is constantly hindered due to having to switch between tasks.

            If you have a lot of tasks on your plate, determine your priorities and allocate enough time for each task. That way you can work on what’s urgent first and have enough time to complete the rest of your tasks.

            2. Turn off Notifications

            According to a Gallup poll, more than 50 percent of US smartphone owners admit to checking their phones a few times an hour.[2]

            Switching off your phone—or at least your notifications—during work hours is a good way to prevent you from checking your phone all the time.

            The same applies to your computer. If you have the privilege of accessing social media on your work desktop, switch off the notifications on there.

            Another good tip is to logout from your social media accounts. Therefore when you feel the urge to check it, you might be swayed because your page isn’t so easily accessible.

            3. Manage Interruptions

            There are certain disruptions in the office that are unavoidable such as your manager requesting a quick meeting or your colleague asking for assistance. In order to deal with this, your best approach is to know how to handle interruptions like a pro.

            Be proactive and inform the people around you of your need to focus. Turn your status on as “busy/unavailable” on your work chat app.

            If you’re on a deadline, let your colleagues know that you need to concentrate and would really appreciate not being interrupted for the moment, or even work from home if that’s a feasible option for you.

            By anticipating and having a plan in place to manage them, this will minimize your chances of being affected by interruptions.

            4. Eat the Frog

            Mark Twain once famously said that:

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            “if it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

            What this basically means is that you should get your biggest, most urgent task out of the way first.

            We all have that big, important task that we don’t want to do but know we have to do because it holds the biggest consequence if we don’t complete it.

            Eat the frog is a productivity technique that encourages you to do your most important, most undesirable task first. Completing this particular task before anything else will give you a huge sense of accomplishment. It will set the ball rolling for the rest of the day and motivate you to eagerly complete your other tasks.

            5. Cut Down on Meetings

            Meetings can use up a lot of time, which is time that can be used to do something useful.

            You have to wait for everyone to arrive, then after the pleasantries are out of the way, you can finally get stuck into it. And sometimes, it may take a whole hour to iron out one single issue.

            The alternative? Don’t arrange a meeting at all. You’ll be surprised at how many things can be resolved through an email or a quick phone call.

            But that doesn’t mean you should eliminate meetings altogether. There are certain circumstances where face-to-face discussions and negotiations are still necessary. Just make sure you weigh up the options prior.

            If it’s just information sharing, you’re probably better off sending an email; but if brainstorming or in-depth discussion is required, then an in-person meeting would be best.

            6. Utilize Tools

            Having the right tools to work with is crucial as you’re only really as good as the resources you have at your disposal. Not only will you be able to complete tasks as efficiently as possible, but they can streamline processes. Said processes are essential to a business as they manage tasks, keep employees connected, and hold important data.

            If you’re the manager or business owner, ensure your team has the right tools in place.

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            And if you’re an employee and think the tools you currently have to work with aren’t quite up to par, let your manager know. A good team leader understands the significance of having the right tools and how it can impact employee productivity.

            Some examples of tools that could be used:

            Communication
            • Slack for team chat and collaboration.
            • Samepage for video conference software.
            • Zendesk for customer service engagement.
            Task Management
            • Zenkit for task and project collaboration.
            • Wunderlist for listing your to-do’s.
            • Wekan for an open source option.
            Database Management
            Time Tracking
            • Clockify for a free tracker.
            • TMetric for workspace integrations.
            • TimeCamp for attendance and productivity monitoring.

            You can also take a look at these Top 10 Productivity Tools to Help You Achieve 10x More in Less Time.

            7. Declutter and Organize

            Having a disorganized and cluttered workspace can limit your ability to focus. According to researchers, physical clutter can negatively impact your ability to concentrate and take in information.[3] Which is why keeping your work environment well ordered and clutter-free is important.

            Ensure you have your own system of organization so you know what to do when the paperwork starts to pile up.

            Being organized will also ensure that you know where to find the appropriate stationery, tools, or documents when you need it. A US study reveals that the average worker can waste up to one week a year looking for misplaced items.[4]

            Here’s a useful guide to help you declutter and organize: How to Declutter Your Life and Reduce Stress (The Ultimate Guide)

            8. Take Breaks

            Taking regular breaks is essential for maintaining productivity at work. Working in front of a computer can lead to a sedentary lifestyle which can place you at a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Even a 30 second microbreak can increase your productivity levels up to 30 percent.

            As well as your physical health, breaks are also crucial for your mental and emotional wellbeing. That’s because your brain is like a muscle, the more it works without a break, the easier it is for it to get worn out.

            Ensuring you actually take your breaks can prevent you from suffering from decision fatigue. It can also help boost creativity.

            Take a look at this article and learn why you should start scheduling time for breaks: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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            9. Drink Water

            Although we know we should, it’s easy to forget to drink enough water during the working day.

            Many of us turn to tea or coffee for the caffeine hit to keep us going. However, like taking breaks, drinking water is essential for maintaining productivity levels at work. It’s simple and effective.

            Not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration and also headaches, tiredness, and weight gain.

            A good tip to avoid dehydration is to keep a water bottle at your desk as it can serve as a reminder to constantly drink water.

            If you find the taste of water a little bland, add some fruit such as cucumber or lemon to give it a better taste.

            You can also get more ideas on how to drink more water here: How to Drink More Water (and Why You Should)

            The Bottom Line

            The preceding 9 ground rules on work productivity aren’t the be-all, end-all. You and the company you work for may have other tips on how productivity is best increased and maintained.

            After all, it’s something that can be perceived differently depending on the exact job and work environment.

            In saying that, however, the 9 ground rules serve as a good foundation for anyone finding themselves succumbing to disruption and distraction, and are looking for ways to overcome them.

            A good tip to keep in mind is that change doesn’t happen overnight. Start small and be consistent. If you slip up, just dust yourself off and try again.

            Developing habits happens gradually, so as long as you keep up with it, you’ll soon start to notice the changes you’ve been making and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

            More About Boosting Productivity

            Featured photo credit: Cathryn Lavery via unsplash.com

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