I just got back from a holiday with my significant other and as I get ready to take a long weekend with family, I’m thinking about how fortunate I am this year to be taking so much time off. I realize not everyone has the same opportunity, so I thought I’d share some ways in which one can take a vacation at work without actually taking time off.
First, don’t sign up for things. If you’re the person who is always volunteering or stepping up to take on a task because everyone else at the conference table doesn’t seem to be picking up on the importance of getting things done, just wait a minute before you say yes. Believe it or not, sitting in awkward silence for even a few seconds just may be the thing that catapults others into action.
Be okay with not being included. Don’t feel like the last kid picked in gym class if you’re not part of the project committee or pout if you don’t have a role in the big product launch. No need to create work; enjoy the free time!
Invite someone to lunch. There’s no rule that says you can’t socialize during the day. Once in a while, take that full hour and just enjoy someone else’s company. If you need to take baby steps in this area, meet for coffee before work or challenge to yourself to have a 10 minute conversation with a coworker in which you talk about anything but work. Hint: let the other person talk!
Close the door (literally or figuratively). If you’re lucky enough to have an office with a door, close it for 20 minutes while you clean up a bit or savor that one piece of chocolate your diet allows. No door? Dare to close your eyes while you listen to a cut from your favorite island music CD or change your monitor’s screen saver to something that represents your happy place.
Inspire yourself. Take 10 minutes to journal ideas that don’t have anything to do with work. What would you do if you weren’t working? What’s next on your bucket list? Find a way to create the essence of big ideas if you don’t have the time or money to bring the big things to life right now. For example, want to float down the Nile? Check out the local museums for Egyptian exhibits or spend 30 minutes during your lunch break reading about the adventures of other travelers.
Ignore the little things. So what if Karen is late again or Dave can be seen brown-nosing the boss? Take a vacation from the junk!