Do you feel like you've done everything you can to finish the necessary tasks to be ready to enjoy your holidays? If so, you might feel like you've put in all your efforts to get ready for your well-deserved vacation. But are you really able to enjoy your vacation fully?
While you've been occupied completing work tasks, have you been neglecting yourself – doing what is important for you? Have you had time for your hobbies, spending time with your family, connecting with your friends and working on your own exciting projects? Your closest people might have an honest opinion on how well you've been doing lately. Would they celebrate with you how much sleep or social gatherings you've missed while being occupied in progressing your work projects?
Our real job is not to overburden us with work, meeting others' needs or completing external requests to compromise our own priorities, happiness and well-being.
Balancing work-life can feel difficult when you want to both feel accomplished and enjoy your free time. Each year I've worked on a new formula for how to harmonize my dedication to professional growth while maintaining good well-being. I've experienced the ups and downs. So, I wanted to give you my best advice on how you can elevate enjoying your life fully feeling balanced and successful.
If you feel like you're constantly waiting for the weekends and the next holiday to start, it's a good time to reassess your habits. You can start by asking yourself:
Do I spend a big part of my holidays recharging my energies?
Am I feeling so consumed I have no energy to enjoy my free time?
Do I skip exciting activities because I feel too tired?
Does my head feel so foggy I can't get a hold of my thoughts?
Does my stress level raise just thinking about holiday plans?
Despite your former tendencies, there is always an option to change them. So how you can enjoy your holidays and life in general? Here are the five lessons that help me to enjoy life.
1. Do like you mean it
The pure fact is that we can truly enjoy life only in the present moment. And when we feel tired, stressed and overburden it's more difficult to live in the moment. Then we might for example worry, blame or judge our behaviour. We, humans, are spending 65 % of our time thinking about what else we should be doing. This means a lot of missed opportunities to enjoy our time at work, free time - anything we are doing.
A simple way to start enjoying more is to choose powerfully what you want to be doing at the given moment and dedicate your time to it. For example, if you want to rest, rest thinking that it is what you want to be doing or if you want to see your friends over a picnic, show up like you want to be there.
2. Just be
This leads to my second tip: instead of doing, be. What I mean by this is that high-achievers tend to perform all the time - at work and in their free time. So holidays are dedicated time for doing everything that you haven't had time for. Cleaning the closets, visiting all relatives, seeing the world, renovating the kitchen, building a summer cottage, and taking that sailing course you've been dreaming about.
Enjoying is about being. As much as you would like to fit everything you want, need or should do on your holiday, do less and be more. This might sound odd or even difficult but give it a try. Take time for just being. At that given moment, you can explore:
What do you learn about yourself when you just are?
What would your body and soul need right now?
How does it feel to practice mindful being?
3. Prioritize your activities
When you've learned how to enjoy being, you can elevate your happiness by doing the things you enjoy. Happiness doesn't come from seeking it but doing what gives you joy. When you're planning your activities, think about how doing is a good amount that you don't exhaust yourself trying to fit everything on your calendar.
After working so hard the whole spring, you can allow yourself to slow down smoothly. And by this, I mean that you don't need to go from 110 to 0. Instead of overburning yourself and then collapsing, start practising a healthy way of managing your work and free time activities the whole year around. Begin by slowly moving towards your vacation and how to continue being active without making your holiday a chore. Prioritizing is key.
If you're still at work, take a moment to update your to-do list and prioritize what is it that really needs to be done before your holidays and what can wait for later. If you're already on holiday, plan your holiday activities to harmonizing your being and doing. So before you
take a sprint finishing everything on your to-do list, take a pause to update a realistic plan thinking about:
What is the most essential to do so making to most impact on the outcomes?
What can wait to be continued after your holidays?
What you could do better after taking a little distance to it?
What can you delegate? (but be mindful of other's plans too)
What can you delete and forget totally to release energy?
A wise piece of advice I've heard is not to measure how much you get to strike from your to-do list but to measure the progress and outcomes. So while planning what does a successful holiday look like to you?
4. Clean your desk, clear your mind
During this pandemic year, many of us have been working from home. This means you have your work at home. Before you could just leave your work things at the office where they were waiting for you to come back. Now they might be in your sight most of the time.
It's shown that we think about more what we see. So having your work close to you can distract you from taking a healthy break from the work things. One of the key LEAN techniques is to clean and keep your desk clean. Cleanliness helps you to concentrate where you need to. You have literally more space in your mind too to work on the essential tasks.
To enjoy your holiday, clean your desk and especially your home office to free up space in your mind. Many offices are paperless nowadays but don't let it fool you. You might still have plenty of things that connect you to work like a calendar, laptop, laptop case, notebook, and maybe most importantly your phone.
When setting up for holiday, think about:
Where you can store (hide) the physical work-related stuff?
What information do you give in your out-of-office reply: can they call, text or email you during your vacation or forward them to contact your colleagues?
How do you update your notifications: how often do the apps and email need to update or can you turn off the notifications?
5. Make exciting plans
Making holiday plans gives you something exciting to be waiting for. In this way, you want to wake up to enjoy the summer days. But make sure you're not planning too much to get tired from planning and executing your holiday plans. Remember the idea is to smoothly transition from work to holiday feeling excited and energized.
Think about who you want to include in your summer plans as well. Having a social commitment makes it more likely that you get up from your cosy bed. Sharing experiences is also proven to increase our happiness even more. So doing something fun together is also a great memory to cherish later 😊
Now you've deserved your holiday so enjoy it wholeheartedly!
Career Growth Coach | LIVIO JOY
Kaisa's career was built on her plan B. When her work wasn't supporting her new life situation, Kaisa started exploring what would excite her. Her career transition journey turned out more challenging than expected. After deep self-exploration and tearful panic, she came up with a plan that would meet her professional interests and personal priorities. So, she re-educated herself to a certified coach, pivoted to a new field and started LIVIO JOY that follows her soul purpose - building a more successful and sustainable work-life through career happiness.