Archives for posts with tag: vacation

I recently wrote about feeling burned out, the need to keep going, and looking forward to taking a vacation. Fortunately, my vacation is about a month away. I came to the realization that unlike many previous vacations, I would actually like to have some free time rather than spending my days catching up on projects. The thought of just relaxing during my vacation and giving myself much needed recovery time has actually pushed me toward a new series of goals. I want to complete said goals during the days leading up to my time off.

Present projects I want to take care of include completing the personal branding, website building, and blogging projects that I have been putting off. I want to contribute to social media beyond my Twitter account, update my LinkedIn profile (because it is overdue), and maintain a larger presence on Facebook and Twitter via my blog. While the website project will take longer to complete because I don’t want to work on it during my time off, I can at least begin building a work timeline. As for the blog, I’ve listed all the changes I want to make for 2018 via Discord and Trello—I just need to implement those changes.

When I finish these projects before my vacation starts I will be in a good place productivity-wise. I’m the type of person who needs a goal deadline to stay motivated with projects. Sometimes it is necessary to create the deadlines yourself and a reasonable reward when there are no external forces pushing you.

 

How do you set up goals and rewards surrounding the free time from your job?

Night Work by Thomas Heylen of Flickr

Night Work by Thomas Heylen of Flickr

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I’m finally taking my first vacation since August 2017. Unlike August, this vacation isn’t attached to any conventions or traveling plans. I’m just at home relaxing and reinvigorating my mind. For the past two days (Monday and Tuesday) I’ve been using the time off from work to catch up on one of my favorite hobbies, video games.  However, I’ve been using my vacation to leisurely catch up on errands and other tasks. It has been nice completing chores and needed tasks without having to worry about getting everything done before work or jamming said tasks into the weekend.

 

During the first half of my week I’ve been able to:

  • Finally take my car in for its PA state inspection. My inspection tags expired at the end of October and I had been driving around with expired tags for three months. No need to worry about my tags for another year.
  • Repair and organize a few things around the house.
  • Get laundry done. Including taking larger items to the laundromat.

 

For the second half of my week I plan to:

  • Finally cleanup email inboxes and unsubscribe from newsletters that no longer interest me.
  • Do my federal, state, and city income taxes. Since I’ve become a landlord the process has become complicated and time-consuming, but not impossible to do on my own.
  • Start the process of revamping my personal fan site. Unfortunately, because a few important tasks have been packed into my week off, I won’t be able to exclusively work on the site. At the very least, I do want to start the process.
  • Update a few of my social media profiles.

 

I fully plan to achieve most of, if not all of the goals I set for myself during the week. At the same time, I plan to take a few hours here and there to enjoy hobbies without feeling guilt or worrying about work.

How do you spend your time when taking a vacation from work? Do you fill it with chores, errands, and side tasks? Or do you take a break from everything?

The Beach is Calling by Eyesplash of Flickr

The Beach is Calling by Eyesplash of Flickr. Being on the beach is what comes to mind when many people think about vacations.

I’m going to start with a full confession. I was struck with writer’s block when it came to this week’s article. I had no idea what I was going to write and the list of topics I had outlined seemed unappealing to me—so I deleted them. (I have yet to brainstorm anything new.) It was then I realized I’d fallen into a slight slump. I also realized that such feelings are okay. Not every day is going to be a winner. One can’t be happy and feel productive all of the time. Life simply doesn’t work like that and occasionally you have to pull yourself through the day. Ironically, these feelings gave me a topic to write about.

So what do you do when you realize you’ve reached a slump and you’re close to feeling burnout? Everyone is different, but there are some key techniques that can help address the problem:

  • Take a break or a vacation. Even if you’re at a job you absolutely love and it doesn’t feel like work, a break is still needed to refresh the mind and body.
  • Take care of yourself. When things become stressful, good habits such as plenty of sleep, a good diet, and exercise become more important than ever. These are needed fuel to keep your body strong and healthy in addition to easing stress.
  • Learn to say “no” when possible. You cannot be everything to everyone. Sometimes it is important to say no and not to take on more responsibilities until you’ve recovered from a slump.

Personally, I can say that while work is going decently, I realize I do need a proper vacation. I just finished navigating one of the busiest times of the year. While work in the new year has been a lot slower, I haven’t had a proper vacation. Normally, I take vacations three to four times a year. However, since becoming full-time my vacations have been reset and I won’t be able to properly take one again until June. The last time I actually took a vacation was in August. For the time being, I’ve set up a series of upcoming back-to-back personal days that should function as a vacation as well as a few strategically placed days off.

Life at home has been quite stressful at times. The latest was dealing with clogged pipes and having to get them unclogged, which included purchasing a new toilet. Additionally, my car needs a new bumper cover and a motor for the windshield wipers. All of the above are not fun or cheap. While there’s nothing I can do about these problems except to deal with them as they occur, learn, and move forward. Dealing with that stress also means practicing the techniques I outlined.

 

What techniques do you use to mitigate burnout when you feel it approaching?

Fire by Robbie Shade of Flickr

Fire by Robbie Shade of Flickr

Guys. Ireland was amazing. Seriously, everyone is so nice, funny, and helpful, the scenery is breathtaking, and the food is to die for. What’s not to like? I experienced wonderful things every day while I was there so it was bittersweet to come home. I’m glad I did, though–it would be tough for anyone to live out of a suitcase for that long!

We drove all around the country (literally), starting and ending in Dublin. We went south the coast (beneath Cork), then to various points on the west coast, then up to Donegal, and we ended with a night in Derry/Londonderry (which was incredible; I highly recommend spending some time in that city) before driving back down to Dublin.

Rock of CashelRock of Cashel

I learned a lot about myself, like that I can drive on the wrong side of the road with almost no problems at all! It was very empowering since I was in charge of all of the driving :).

DingleThe adorable street we stayed on in Dingle

I went with my grandmother because she’s been to Ireland several times with my grandfather (who passed away in 2005) and his family is still there. We were able to meet with some on the east coast and some on the west coast! My grandfather’s father was one of 12, so there are plenty of cousins to meet.

Blarney CastleThe view from Blarney Castle

I also was able to come back to work with very little trouble. I can’t rave enough about preparing extensively before a vacation and making sure that everything is in order, especially if someone is covering for you. I made sure to get my coverage partners treats while I was away to show them how much I appreciate their work!

Peace BridgeThe Peace Bridge in Derry

Overall, I’m so happy I went and I can’t wait to get back. This trip gave me many ideas for future trips to Ireland!

How about you, readers; have you ever traveled to Ireland?

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