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TUNING IN

A blog dedicated to the world of broadcast and public relations

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tips for Managing Your Vacation So you Actually Take a Break

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With the end of summer just around the corner, you may be among the many planning to squeeze in a vacation. If you are, make this vacation is truly a time to relax and recharge, rather than a time to work with a better view, by following these tips offered by Ken Scudder, in the July issue of PR Tactics.

vacation

  1. Limit office connectivity. When you’re on a vacation constantly checking your phone, are you really on a vacation? Scudder argues, no, you are simply working outside of your office. Instead of relentlessly answering emails and phone calls, set aside ten minutes in the morning and ten minutes in the afternoon to dedicate to work. Let people know the times that you have set aside so they know when it’s best for them to reach you. Also, alert colleagues to your vacation and arrange for other team members to serve as alternate contacts on key projects that might require attention while you are away.
  2. Gain new insights. Be a local. Watch local newscasts, read local newspapers, and travel to local hotspots rather than just your typical touristy location. For PR professionals, by immersing yourself into the local community, you may find yourself inspired about a story you see, or the manner by which a story is covered. Vacations can also be a great opportunity to catch up with old contacts. That does not mean have a business meeting, per se, but rather, get a cup of coffee and see what they are up to.  However, it is important not to overbook. Do not exhaust yourself. That’s what work is for.
  3. Regroup and plan ahead. When returning from your trip, do not come back the night before you have to go back to work. Give yourself a day to get back into non-vacation mode. Also, give yourself the morning at work to get organized and figure out what you need to do. Suddenly returning to a structured work environment filled with meetings and deadlines can set stress into overdrive.

Vacations are meant to be a time to recharge yourself so when you do go back to work, you are more focused and able to deal with the tasks ahead, which may have seemed overwhelming before the vacation.

Lisa Aldisert, founder and president of the management-consulting firm Pharos Alliance, also advises:

  • Acknowledge that you may have some separation anxiety from the office, but don’t obsess over it.
  • Thoughtfully prepare in advance. Your colleagues, reporters and clients will appreciate that you let them know you’ll be away on vacation.
  • Enlist the help of your family or travel companions. You don’t want to ruin their time by always checking your email or texting. So create and keep your boundaries.
  • The less you contact your colleagues, the happier they will be. Give them the opportunity to show you what they can do.
  • Do something that you want to do every day while on vacation. With something to look forward to, you’ll enjoy being away from your day-to-day work.
  • Make sure that your choice of vacation venue fits your state of mind. If you’re exhausted, then don’t pick a destination that involves whirlwind activity.

With these tips, the team at News Generation wishes everyone a happy end of summer!

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