For Women in Law By Women in Law

Guest Blogger, Alexa Kingsmith, dishes winning tactics for disconnecting from work during the holidays

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We all have good intentions but let’s be honest, figuring out how to really disconnect can be tricky – regardless of the time of year. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for enjoying some down time over the holidays, I thought I’d share a few tips that work for me. Give them a try this year and take a moment to truly un-plug and soak up time with your friends and family.

 

Start Early & Plan Ahead

I do my best to start the holiday ‘wind down’ a bit early. It’s so much harder to take a break when you have ten competing deadlines running at full blast before trying to escape for a week. If you can, try to prepare your work environment for your holiday exit a few days in advance. Wrap up key tasks, delegate work and let your key clients and co-workers know that you’ll be taking some time away.

 

Show Appreciation to Your Team

Don’t forgot to express your gratitude to whomever is covering for you while you’re away! I find the key to really being able to disconnect is having someone you trust keeping track of your work while you are gone.

 

Set a Good Example

Supporting work life balance with your team is another great way to encourage taking a holiday break. Try getting into the spirit with your colleagues by sharing a bit about your family and holiday plans or traditions. This adds some humanity to your time away – so colleagues don’t just see a blocked calendar, but they’ve also heard you talk about your long-awaited trip to visit extended family. They become somewhat invested in guarding your holiday vacation time.

 

Put the Phone Away – Seriously

With our phones attached to our hips, it’s difficult not to give in to the temptation of grazing through your email inbox throughout the day – but I find this the worst way to get sucked into the work vortex while away on vacation. Try to avoid checking your emails first thing in the morning and throughout the day – it’s the perfect recipe to turn vacation days into remote workdays. Find a system to avoid constant email checks – leave your phone in a drawer during family activities or maybe only check emails at night. Find what works for you and stick to it.

 

Know Thy Self

Last but not least – be realistic. Determine how much you’d actually like to disconnect and develop a plan for that. The truth is that it’s not always realistic to expect to disconnect 100% while you’re out of the office. If you’d rather check in occasionally to avoid having an avalanche of emails waiting for you when you return, plan for that. Maybe you prefer to review emails a couple of days before you return to the office or even carve out time to make a few critical calls. Your strategy is yours – just be sure you develop a proactive plan and follow it.

About the Author

Alexa is the Marketing Manager at Harper Grey and a proud member of the LiL Support Team where she assists with content development, event organization and all other things LiL! A self-proclaimed word nerd, Alexa has a passion for reading, writing, editing and research. She is active in the community and serves as the President of the BC Legal Management (BCLMA) Board, where she is passionate about expanding the association’s membership to include the next generation of legal leaders in BC.

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