The words "productive" and "holiday" aren't usually associated with one another. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be!
If the idea of a working vacation makes you feel stressed before you've even left, don't worry. There’s a lot you can do to make sure you get some real work done without losing valuable time to rest.
Here are 10 tips to help you stay productive if you're going on a working vacation.
Since you'll be working on your vacation, you need to plan in times that you can get things done. It's harder to do this once you're already on location. Do it before you go so you can focus on balancing your time more easily while you're there.
Define your working goals upfront
Expressly write downwhat you want to accomplish while you’re on vacation. Don't leave that up to your daily expectations. If you plan reasonable goals ahead of time, you'll feel much better with what you accomplish each day. Without defining success ahead of time, you may feel dissatisfied with your progress and try to work longer than you intended to.
Take long breaks
This is your vacation, not a normal working week. Keep that in mind and plan extended periods of time that don't involve work. During these breaks, don’t do anything work-related at all. You should have at least as many free days as working days during your vacation, and more than double as many free hours each day as working hours.
Change your working scenery
The hotel's office space may be great, but uninspiring. Keep your working area flexible. Sit at a cafe by the water, relax in a restaurant with a gorgeous view, or find a coworking space near your getaway. A change in your working environment can help you gain some inspiration and give you fresh energy to accomplish what you need to.
Respect your limits
Set limits on how much you're going to work and when you'll be working, thenrespect those limits. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in your work and forget that you're supposed to be resting as well. If you don't find time to rest your mind and turn your attention away from work, you'll go back to your normal working hours without feeling refreshed. If this happens, you'll do nothing to combat burnout and may even lose productivity.
Know when to sit it out
You may have to make some sacrifices and trade-offs, butdo it strategically. If you know you'll have a larger activity or trip coming up, sit out a smaller activity earlier on to get more work done. Do the work ahead of time so you don’t have to think about it while you're spending time on a planned activity.
Even if you're not a morning person, it's easier to get heavy work done in the morning than in the afternoon or evening while on vacation. Mornings are usually slower and have less going on around you. If you wake up before everyone else in your party, you can get a lot done before they're ready to do anything. You may choose to do a little extra work throughout the day, during a slow afternoon or later in the evening. Leave the light work for those times, such as answering emails or other administrative work. If a heavy task comes up in the afternoon or evening, leave it for the next morning.
Always plan a backup
No matter where you're going, you need to prepare backups to make sure you can work. Your working vacation will be very unproductive if you have to waste time looking for internet access, finding backup power in an outage, or searching out a place where you can sit to work. Plan ahead to prepare for the worst and be ready for it to happen.
Don't try to multitask
Stay in a hotel that sets you up for success
A lot of vacationers try to reduce travel expenses by choosing cheap lodging, especially if they expect to spend more time doing stuff and only a little time in the room itself.
For working holidays, this isn't a very good strategy. At the very least, you want a place you can feel safe leaving your work equipment. Hotels with good amenities, such as a working lounge, can also be affordable options that solve two problems at once. A cheap motel can ruin your vacation and kill your productivity. Moreover, staying in a cheap motel may leave a bad impression, especially if you're meeting new clients during the trip.
Stay at a place that helps you relax. Don't give yourself a reason to leave a bad review. Check complaints from reliable third-party sources that show real customer feedback and not sponsored reviews that you will usually encounter in Yelp or Google.
Plan ahead to make the best of it. Set yourself up for a successful working vacation.