Its holiday season and I believe an extended break is a welcome change. But many of my friends are wary of going in for a break for the fear of loosing out on new clients, or not being able to provide timely response during this break. We all have a schedule to follow and deadlines to meet. Holiday season is definitely not an excuse to extend the deadline. But, this also does not mean you have to put in a double shift.
It is at times such as these, I get to hear, "it is good to work at an office, coz you clearly know when the work stops, and when your response is expected. With the work from home scenario, the dividing line tends to get blurred over time." Some often remark, " when I am not doing chores , or helping my kids with their study", I instinctively reach out for the pending tasks at my project desk".
In all this, we are constantly "at work", completely forgetting the fact that we need some "ME-Time" too, eventually all this translates into the double shift that I had mentioned earlier. Going on holidays or taking a break does not necessarily mean that you are incommunicado, or you "have to be" incommunicado. However, if you choose to be completely cut-off, then set up an auto responder with a message as to when the sender can expect your response.
So, what can you do ( or not do) to avoid coming across as inaccessible during holidays?
- Spend only 1 hr to check & respond to mails. For mails that require more than "this or that", provide a quick reply that you will get back with a detailed response after [date].
- DONOT get tempted to "let me do one little thing" with your project. This is like quick sand, you never know when you will get sucked into your work-mode.
- Try not to connect to the internet via your palmtop, mobile etc. Learn to disconnect at least during this holiday season.
- If there is nothing else to do, stretch yourself, don't reach out to your laptop.
- Have a wallpaper that says you are on vacation if that helps.
Of late, I have been busy hectic with a Custom Application at Zoho Creator, writing tutorial posts and helping my parents in law to "learn computer". Christmas holidays have begun and new year is not that far. So, eventually I have decided to take the long awaited vacation along with my family. Though we haven’t decided what to do this holiday season, I guess discussing this over dinner is where the mood of holiday really sets in.
Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays to all of you.