“I’m back for revenge, I lost a battle that ain’t happening again, I’m at your throat like strep, I step strapped with a pen” -Eminem
This was an interesting idea to write about, because it seems so simple.
Right now people are thinking:
“Now wait a minute, why are you writing about going on vacation?”
Who doesn’t know how to go on vacation?
Everyone knows how.
You make some exiting plans, pack up and go.
You just pick something fun, pack up and go.
Well, I’ve screwed up more than a few vacations.
And seen others return to work tired, and later admit they couldn’t wait to be back.
It’s happened many times.
Wait, what the hell?
I though taking a break from work was the whole point?
Why would they want to be back working again?
Well, it’s fairly simple.
Vacations are an amazing and productive time – if you let them be.
You have to play it right.
Don’t let your vacation become a prison sentence.
A whirlwind of running around, and shrinking bank accounts.
I’ll explain below…
#1 Mistake that Ruins Vacations: You’re too Busy.
No, I don’t mean too busy being productive and creating, or spending time with loved ones.
I mean too busy rushing around from place to place trying to see various tourist attractions, stressing yourself out, worrying about missing an event or show.
Being pressed for time is the most stressful thing to a human being.
This is why a drill sergeant yells at young recruits to hurry up – to stress them out.
This is why there are beads of sweat on the brow of the movie hero, who is attempting to disarm a bomb.
The bomb has a timer, which is running out.
Low time – high stress.
Low time – high productivity.
This is why scuba divers must be able to function under stress.
They have limited air or limited time.
Same with astronauts.
The reason deadlines are so effective, is because they restrict the amount of time you have to accomplish a certain task.
They make the finish line solid and tangible.
Some zen teachers even demand pupils act at once – now that’s real lack of time.
A deadline due in zero seconds.
So in order to have a relaxing vacation – the opposite of a stressful one, do this one thing:
Allow yourself more than enough time, and stick to a few simple activities.
Maybe hiking one day, maybe skiing another day.
Or just sit and read for a few hours.
Just make sure to give yourself enough: Time
#2 Reason Vacations Turn Bad: Planning
Figure out the plan beforehand.
How are you getting to your destination?
Common answer is flying. Buy those tickets early. Last minute purchases are exiting, but expensive, when it comes to flying.
Where are you staying?
A hotel? A friend’s place? Family?
You don’t want to be stuck renting an expensive hotel, or being a burden.
The sooner you figure this out, the better your vacation will be.
Tip: Realize that those you’re going to visit are not on vacation. Be prepared for some down time while they work.
#3 Reason Why Most People Can’t Wait to Get Back to Work.
If you are like most people, your daily routine revolves around work.
Everything is carefully arranged, so that you arrive on time and presentable.
Well, once you’re not working, that routine goes away.
All of a sudden, nobody cares if you sleep in until 1600.
Nobody cares if you don’t shave your face for a week of wear the same sweatpants the whole time.
After all this is your time to relax, and unwind right?
I mean, yes it is, but that’s only half right.
I’m going to emphasize this, because it caught me off guard a while ago.
Your self-care has to be on point during your vacation.
It absolutely has to be.
Most people look reasonably good while working, as they are around others and want to look good.
One year, I took on the ultimate bum approach and decided to grow my beard out, and not cut my hair. I wore only comfortable clothing, which didn’t look great.
Really stopped being so sharp and focused and driven all the time.
And my friends, it was the worst thing I could have possibly done.
My productivity plummeted, mood was low, I had brain fog, and I was miserable.
All because of skipping a few simple routines like shaving my face everyday.
It absolutely does matter, and you will feel a difference.
While a vacation is a time to relax, it’s also a time to balance out your life.
Get your sleep cycle right: Sleep well and consistently. You will be refreshed and energized from this alone.
Get your food right: Traveling and vacations are notorious for making it easy to eat junk. Unfortunately, the reality is, if you eat crap – you feel like crap.
Get your self care right: Again, this absolutely surprised me, by just how much it will affect you. Remain sharply dressed and focused.
No sweatpants and three day old stubble.
Tip: Unless you are absolutely sick of your local area, consider a stay-cation.
#4 Bonus Round: Make the Vacation Meaningful.
Don’t burn it up with TV or video games. Remain unplugged, at least for the duration of your break.
You are physically free for a while, be mentally free too.
Focus on these two things:
People and Experiences.
Repeat it to yourself ten times
That’s how you make the most of your vacations.
Don’t pressure yourself to squeeze too much into a day.
Work at your natural pace. Maybe at a slightly more active pace.
Stay productive, don’t be bored.
This is the time to start that project you’ve been thinking about and putting off.
You may just have the time to actually do it.
The idea of Disney World or something similar makes me cringe(Unless you are planning some serious infiltration, into the rides/tunnels of the park).
Tourist hot-spots are crowded and charge $20 for a burger and $10 for a water.
Right I’m on “vacation” but really, I’m working my ass off.
But it’s not really work, because I feel like doing it.
Doesn’t feel like work, feels like play.
Nothing else I’d rather do and no other way I’d have it.
All the Best.