I’m on vacation until Jan 4th. This gives me 17 days off to do with as I please, the longest break I’ve had at least since college. I’ve been looking forward to it for quite some time but, especially as a remote worker who works from my house, it can be almost as difficult to adjust to vacation as it is for any other major change and, let’s face it, vacation is a major change to most of our schedules these days.
That said, this vacation I found my groove within the first couple of days. I’m proud of that. One of the reasons I haven’t taken long vacations in the past is I often find myself bored within a day or two as adjusting to the change of pace has been difficult. Here’s what I did differently this time that has made it so much easier.
Keep to a routine during work days
I have a very rigid routing when I work. It wasn’t always like that but for the last year I get up at 6:30 and walk for an hour. Then I shower and start working at 8am. At 4pm I close the computer, leave my home office and do not look back.
Even my office is part of the routine. If I’m not working it is rare to find me in it for anything. Even this vacation I had to spend at least two days completely removed from it until I felt comfortable sitting down at my personal laptop without thinking of work.
The key here is the routine, or, more specifically, having a routine to break. It’s a lot easier to not think about work when we can physically separate our work space from our private space. When you work from home that’s even harder. Keeping a strict routine makes up for it in giving us something that can noticeably change to help separate a work day from a personal day.
Leave the house more
If you work from home leaving the house, especially in the pandemic, can be hard. I use my vacation time to schedule appointments and make plans to do things that, while I could do on a work day, help me further separate from the routine and make the days feel different. Some days it might just be an extra walk or two but I also got my annual checkup done already and have a few other things planned to just get me away from the house over the next 2 weeks.
Make time for hobbies
This might sound weird, considering my comments on separating my office from the rest of my life but my hobbies are still writing and working on personal projects such as this site. Normally I do all the writing a weekend or two before I publish a given post but this week has been an exception. As I finish typing this post I’ll hit publish almost immediately (sorry about the typos). This isn’t because I’ve been lazy, but it is because I can do it. I can afford to write during the week and work on my own sites, even in my office.
Making time for hobbies and the things we love is hard when we work all day. So often this time gets crammed into the weekends, if we’re lucky or maybe that evening or two every month or so when we’re not too tired from work to do anything else. For me making time to do what I love during the week is one of the biggest signs that I’m not at work and really has helped me get into vacation mode so much faster than previous time off.
Finally, just enjoy yourself. Turn off the distractions from work like notifications and other apps (or, better yet, remove those apps from devices you use in your personal life entirely) and enjoy the moments you have to yourself. They go by way too fast.