How to Take a Working Vacation and Live to Tell About It
It’s summertime, the kids are clamoring to go to Disney World or their favorite camping park, and your significant other is giving you dirty looks every day. No matter how many deadlines you have, it’s time to take a summer vacation. Even the best content writer needs a break now and then to prevent a complete burnout. The problem is, what to do with all those looming deadlines?
If you don’t work, you don’t get paid, so without months of preparation and extra writing, it’s almost impossible to take an entire week off. The answer is a working vacation. Not a vacation where you ditch the family and sneak off with your laptop all day long, but a true compromise between work and fun that will satisfy both your clients and the ones you love.
Let your family in on the plan ahead of time. Reassure them that they will get to do all the fun things they want to do, but that there will be times when you won’t be available. Every vacation has some down time in which family members like to lie around and just relax. Let them know that these are the times in which you’ll be working.
It may sound strange to schedule your vacation days, but this is the only way you’ll accomplish all your goals this week. First, find out all the priorities that must be penciled in. This includes family members’ must-do activities, as well as work deadlines that must be met. Write out a daily schedule that includes chunks of time for each activity. Smaller periods of time working are better than one long stretch. You’ll probably have to compromise in your work habits, but getting the work done in three chunks throughout the day is better than not finishing at all, and much better than ignoring the family for hours.
Once you’re at the vacation venue, post the schedule and stick to it. If any family members try to tempt you away from work, point to the schedule and let them know when you’ll be available.When you work, make sure that’s all you are doing. Close out all tabs on your computer that aren’t directly related to the work, stay completely away from email, social media and blogs, and work straight through for the designated period of time without being distracted or wavering off course.
Once you finish a block of work time, save your work and forget about it. Give your total attention to your family and don’t worry about the project you just left. Make the most of every second you’re together with your loved ones and they’re less likely to resent the time you spend away from them working. A working vacation will never be a complete free-for-all filled with relaxation, but when you do it right it’s possible to make great memories with your family while still making all of your deadlines.
Victoria B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.