A little planning will help you unplug

Summer is in full swing, and with many of us running off to the cottage, some of us are still working away at our keyboards. Even if the beach seems far away in your mind, isn’t it time you took a little vacation?

Studies have proven that vacations reduce overall stress levels and help us recharge, reenergize, and refresh; actually leading to an increase in productivity. Yes, it’s true — vacation benefits extend beyond just a great tan.

Canadians are entitled to a minimum two weeks of vacation per year. Whether you take one long trip, a few week-long trips, or a several mini vacations, it’s important to kick back and relax from time to time.

because no one can take your place, or your work might pile up. While it may seem like a huge setback to you, that vacation will allow you to return to work with new energy to take on those projects, and even find new ways to solve problems.

If you work in a small company, it might seem extremely difficult to unplug, especially if your “department” is a one-person show. But if you put the right kind of action plan in place for your absence, you’ll be able to step away, hassle-free.

No matter the size of your company, a little foresight and planning will keep your BlackBerry from buzzing while you lounge on the beach. Think ahead: What needs to be done, and who can you delegate it to? Consult your calendar for a list of upcoming deadlines to make sure your part is done, and draw up a contact list in case of emergencies. Don’t forget to put on your vacation auto-responder e-mail, and you’re set.

Staycationing? Treat it like a regular vacation — no voicemail or e-mail check-ins. Avoid telling your colleagues that you’re staying in the area, as they may be tempted to call you for help or ask you to come in. No matter where your vacation takes place, it’s still time off for you. Enjoy it!

Vacation action plans

• Task delegate list

• Emergency contact list

• Auto-responder e-mail

• Double-check deadlines

Julie Tyios is the marketing manager and chief matchmaker at Vestiigo.com, a career destination for young professionals. Contact her at julie@vestiigo.com.