Your long-awaited, well deserved holiday is calling your name so why are you running around and working twice as hard as you normally do?

Preparing for a holiday can be super stressful as you try and plan ahead, cover every eventuality and leave no stone unturned. Getting work done ahead of schedule, handing over projects to colleagues, informing clients, keeping your manager up-to-date, turning on your Out of Office and making a to-do-list for your return -wow, it’s exhausting and that’s without the packing!

A poll from Insider found that 66% of people check their emails whilst on holiday and 21% keep notifications on and respond no matter what. If that is the case, you haven’t checked out fully from work. You might convince yourself it is only a sneak peek but you haven’t switched off and are still thinking about your job.

A poll on LinkedIn found that 56% of people check their emails when they are away because they don’t want to fall behind but is this good for your health? Your holiday is time to unplug from the everyday, experience new things and spend quality time with your loved ones. This is crucial if you want to avoid burnout; a holiday is time to refresh and recharge. The whole point of paid time off work is that your employer wants you to rejuvenate and recover so you are not doing yourself or them any favours if you haven’t properly signed off.

We urge you to ditch the holiday guilt, we know it is easier said than done but you need to trust your colleagues – just as you will cover them to the best of your ability when they are away, they should do the same for you. If you have concerns about work not being completed on time or accurately, then let your manager know. It is their responsibility to ensure things run smoothly in your absence.

If you respond to just one email or voicemail, you are setting a precedent that you are available whilst away. That encourages clients and colleagues to contact you and you feel obliged to reply. It can also negatively affect those you are on holiday with as they think that work is your priority.

Don’t leave all your holiday preparation until a few days before you go, start making lists of what needs doing a couple of weeks in advance and try to cross things off daily. Being organised should not be at the expense of you enjoying your holiday, it’s an incredible feeling turning up to your destination knowing you can switch off from the world. The last thing you want to do is be so exhausted that you can’t keep your eyes open or enjoy yourself. You simply can’t be your professional best if you don’t take time off so commit to your holiday.