Vacation – Work Balancing Act: Success Tips

(New York Metro) – While two out of three adults plan to take a vacation this summer, according to a recent Harris Poll, getting out of the office can be especially challenging this year.  Downsizing means there are fewer people to cover for those on vacation, and technology can make it difficult to disconnect completely from workplace responsibilities and stress.

How can Americans refresh amidst all the stress in their professional and personal lives?

Internationally renowned psychologist, Dr. Susan Battley, who advises world-class professionals and organizations on maximizing their performance and talent potential, says that planning and the right mindset are important before, during and after your vacation.

Battley says, “First, recognize that vacations have tremendous work-related benefits in making you more productive and creative.  They also improve your mood and decision-quality. You should not feel guilty about taking time off that you’ve earned.” 

* Recharging mentally and physically is what top athletes do between competitions.  Take a lesson from their playbooks.
* In these challenging economic times, making winning decisions is critical to ongoing career success.  
* Enlightened bosses encourage their people to take vacations because they want a high-performing workforce.  So they need to lead by example and take vacation themselves.

Dr. Battley’s Smart Vacation Planning Tips

1. Before You Leave the Office

– Arrange coverage and brief others on important issues, especially your boss. 
– Clarify expectations about your availability and accessibility while away.
– Don’t over-commit on pending projects.

2. While On Vacation

–  Disconnect “TO” something, not “FROM” something. Apply the principles of attraction to vacation planning. Select a locale or activity that has real interest for you: Strong attraction neutralizes work distraction.  Examples: family trip, re-connecting  with friends, volunteer work.
–  Set a vacation time period that works for you.  Many people now opt for briefer vacations that allow them to disconnect and relax fully rather than longer vacations where work piles up in their absence.
–  Use technology wisely. If you do need to touch base with the office, try to arrange a fixed time that it is convenient for you.

3. Returning From Vacation

– Schedule a “Bridge” work day. Give yourself a day to “sneak” back to work before your official return date. This will allow you to get caught up before the usual work demands hit your calendar.
– Thank those who covered for you.
– Implement new ideas you came up with when your mind roamed free.

“In these uncertain times, it’s more important than ever for people to feel a sense of control, “ says Battley.  “Vacation time should be a time of control and choice, even if it’s to do absolutely nothing at all!”
Contact Info: Susan Battley, PsyD, PhD is a leadership psychologist, author and adviser to world-class CEOs and organizations.   Her expertise has been featured in numerous business and media outlets including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Harvard Management Update,  CNN, CNBC, and NPR.  She is CEO and founder of Battley Performance Consulting based in metropolitan New York.  Full online media kit is available at: ###

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About the Author

Susan Battley

An advisor to Fortune 100 executives and world-class institutions for more than twenty years, Dr. Susan Battley is an internationally recognized expert on CEO and leadership effectiveness. Her clients include Fortune 500 companies, professional service firms, and elite research institutions. She has worked with chief executives, university presidents, Nobel laureates, and prominent scientists, diplomats, and educators. A respected media source for analyzing leadership in the context of news-breaking events and key trends, Battley has been featured in outlets worldwide including CNN, CNBC, Fox, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio, and in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chief Executive, Business Week, United Press International, Harvard Management Update, Entrepreneur, Science, Leader to Leader, Investments, and Worth. She is the founder and CEO of Battley Performance Consulting, a leadership strategy and organization effectiveness consultancy.