2020 and 2021 have been two hectic years. The world is beginning to reopen, and seeing family and friends is becoming normal again. You might be doing some cool things to get in the Christmas spirit. But during this festive season, it’s super important to take time out, relax, unwind, and come back recharged for 2022. He’s a few simple things to do before you head out for the break to ensure you actually have a decent break.
Before you head out take the time to set up your email autoreplies. Setting out of office (OOO) automatic replies can save you a big headache, both while you’re on holidays and when you return. Add information like when you’ll be away so people know when to expect a response. Even try avoiding things like “in an emergency, you can contact me on…” Many people don’t understand the concept of an emergency and pretty much anything can wait until the new year. If it really is an emergency, the right people will know how to contact you.
One of my favourite auto-replies was from a friend who had in his response “please don’t contact me, because I’m enjoying my holiday. My team is more than capable of handling your request.” Most likely, your whole team is out during this time, but adding when you, or your colleagues return is super helpful. You can even throw in fun pieces of trivia (like your favourite Christmas recipe) or links to your social media if you want people to still see what you’re up on your holiday!
If your company is using Slack, Teams, Messenger, Telegram, Signal, Discord, or even carrier pigeon (jokes), switch off notifications over the holiday break. Many of us have these apps on our personal devices and if you don’t switch them off, you’ll be constantly pinged. Even if it’s not your colleagues sending you DMs. There are lots of bots and other apps that send automatic messages. The less notifications you receive over the festive season the better.
Slack and many similar apps have cool functions such as setting your status. If you have this for your company, try setting your status to “vacationing” or “OOO” so you don’t get unnecessarily pinged.
When you’re around family and friends, it’s important to connect with them. The only way you do that is by disconnecting from other things. You don’t have to throw out your phone, but try to switch off and disconnect from your device. If you’re having a dinner party, leave the phone on the bench. If you’ve got the family in a lounge or sitting room, put your phone on a table.
Just put it down and take the time to connect to people around you. It’s especially important since we’ve all been so deprived of physical contact these last two years.
If you find it difficult to put the phone down or disconnect, maybe it’s time to get off the grid. Take a day trip up the mountains, grab a friend and go somewhere that the internet does not exist. Hiking is a great idea because not only are you away from the internet, you’re immersed in nature. It gives a whole new perspective to things. You’ll be surprised what your mind can think of while you’re not constantly distracted or engaged. Maybe you’ll dream up your next startup idea, a brilliant new app, or a cool open source project.
How are you unwinding this Christmas? Are there any neat tricks you have for taking a refreshing break? Share them below so we can all recharge for the new year.