I usually take vacation around my birthday. This year I’m not. I just didn’t feel like it. Perhaps the fact that it comes right smack in the middle of the work week has something to do with it.
When I do take off from work, it’s rarely with a simple “See ya later” and a bland Out of Office email. Social media is one of those mixed-blessing entities where its extreme accessibility can help and hurt you. The mere process of detaching yourself from the glitzy online frenzy can be exhausting, if you even have the option in the first place.
In “The new flex balance: Staying connected on vacation,” it seems that staying tuned in is almost a job requirement. But is that just our perception, because it’s so easy to slide over from checking your personal email to “just seeing” what’s on your work email, or from your own Facebook to your brand pages?
And after all, what’s the harm of spending an hour making sure nothing’s blown up in your absence?
The harm is you may never fully disentangle yourself from the “I am the job” mentality. If this works for you, great–everyone’s experience will vary, and we all get our energy and relaxation in different ways. The article itself suggests that giving up that hour will taking PTO may actually serve to give you peace of mind.
Yet turning the brand off, even if only for a day here and there, could provide you with a fresh perspective when you come back to it. A worry-free absence can generate new ideas, new energy, and a revitalized sense of “this is the job for me.” It can also help you realize that the job isn’t all you are. We all need that balance to make greatness out of what we do.
So how do you achieve that balance? Use the tools you have.
One of the things I do is stack up people and posts before I leave on vacation. While I don’t advocate automating your entire social media existence, especially as a brand, you can use Hootsuite and other scheduling tools to make sure your followers still get the resources they need. Depending on the rapport you have with your audience, you can even tell them you’ll be taking a few days off .
Next, if you have one or two social media-savvy people in your office, ask them to keep an eye on your accounts. Make sure your social media policy is up-to-date and accessible, and leave your number where you can be reached in dire emergencies. Then take that needed time off and have fun!
Read the article for tips on de-stressing on vacation even if you have to stay somewhat plugged in, and share your tips below! Also check out Meghan M. Biro’s post on the Digital Realities of Work-Life Blending.