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How to Take a Summer Vacation: Top Five Tips for Leaders

Summer is here, and many of us are looking forward to a well-deserved break from the daily grind.

But as I wrote in a recent post, far too many leaders need help to switch off.

Here are five simple ways to truly disconnect from work and take a real vacation.

1. Plan ahead

One of the best things you can do before going on vacation is to plan ahead. Let your team know when you’ll be away so they can prepare. And make a list of items you want to accomplish before departure so you won’t have unfinished tasks on your mind when you’re supposed to be chilling out.

2. Delegate

Delegating is good for everyone. It allows other team members to show their stuff and take on more responsibilities. And it gives you peace of mind knowing that essential tasks are being taken care of while you're away.

3. Set boundaries

If you absolutely must check in with work while you're away (and I urge you to be honest about how essential this is), set a specific time and limit, and stick to it. This will contain and focus your work-related thoughts so you can relax and recharge the rest of the time.

4. Set your OOO

Create an autoresponder to emails to let people know you're on vacation. This sets clear expectations for anyone trying to contact you while you're away. In your message, let people know who they should contact during your absence.

5. Leave your laptop at the office

Cut the cord! The more you disconnect from your usual responsibilities and stressors, the more refreshing your vacation will be. Make the most of your time away. Soak up your surroundings. Try something new. Hang out with friends and family. Read a book. Take a nap. You’ll come back to work feeling fresher and more productive than ever.

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