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holidays

Holidays

Why Taking Time off Work & Going On Holiday Is Important

940 788 Rachel Le Feuvre, Reset Button

tired

Do you feel like you can’t take a vacation? Do you worry that if you have a day off, the office will fall apart? Perhaps you’ll look like you don’t care enough about your job? Nobody knows the client like you do, no-one knows your project like you do. In fact it’s harder work to take a day off than it is to just go to work every single day of the year.

Well…if you agree with any of the above, then you definitely need a day off.

A recent report claims unused holiday days are at a 40-year high, with nearly a quarter of all paid vacation days in the States not being used, with the Brits not far behind.

When I worked at a top ten advertising agency in NYC, the EVP called a meeting to tell us, her staff, that she ‘didn’t want people taking vacation days off willy-nilly expecting everyone else to pick up the pieces’, and ‘a week’s holiday is not a right, it’s something that has to be earned’.

I believe she was wrong. Even though she may be successful, it’s not the best or healthiest way to do it. We all need to take a break. Here’s why:

1. Reduce your stress
When you’re in the midst of all the stresses and pressures of work it’s hard to see things clearly or rationally. Taking a proper holiday break helps give you perspective on the role of your job within your life. Staying aware of this viewpoint on your work/life balance when you return to work helps you maintain composure and decreases the effect of stress and likeliness of burnout.

2. Improve concentration
Taking a holiday improves your effectiveness and concentration throughout the rest of the year. Unwind from your everyday stresses and you’ll return with confidence, ready to face your work-related challenges. It gives the body the chance to replenish itself – like letting the grass grow back.

3. Increased job satisfaction
Knowing that your employer appreciates the importance of you having some personal time makes you feel valued. Richard Branson recently announced unlimited holiday days for his staff. It can lead to better teamwork and a boost to everyone’s morale. Work is then a collaborative effort, each employee is prepared take on each other’s roles to allow each of them to have their time off, She was proud of the fact she’d worked every day straight for 6 years before taking a single day off. It was the most demotivating fact any of us had ever heard. Every employee left the meeting feeling thoroughly deflated.
knowing that this is what will be done for them too.

4. Have some family time
Dealing with your partner and/or children after a hard days work can be exhausting. Have a break and you’ll have some important time to bond and relax and grow as a family. Just make sure you plan a holiday where it’s easy for everyone to enjoy themselves.

Relax

5. Improve your health
Taking a holiday is good for your health. The New York Times recently reported that those who take less than one holiday every two years are more likely to suffer from depression and burnout. Those who fail to take annual holidays have a 21% higher risk of death from all causes and were 32 percent more likely to die of a heart attack.

Piling the pressure on yourself because you know your workload better than anyone else isn’t a reason not to take time off work. In fact, you could be doing more harm to yourself and your clients. You work hard all year round and you’re entitled to those days off. And even you have a boss who thinks holiday should be earned, you’ve earned it!

 

Creating-a-Stress-Free-Living-Space-in-Your-Apartment1

Five Simple Tips For A Stress-Free Holiday

940 529 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

StressFree

In a few weeks or maybe even days, many of you will be heading off for a summer break.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed In the time leading up to a break as you try to clear your workload, manage multiple projects and head off with a clear desk and your handover completed.

Avoid the stress of last minute panic, working long hours and general chaos in the last few days by following these five tips.

Plan ahead – What needs to be done over the next few weeks and when are you going to do it? Plan 2 to 3 weeks before your holiday so you have to time to organise your workload and schedule accordingly.

Keep the week or 2-3 days before your last day in the office as free as possible. Avoid overbooking your diary with too many meetings in this week. You may not have enough time for all the follow-ups and actions needed or expected before you leave and you’ll end up with even more to handover.

Prioritise – the ‘important’ things you need to work on before you leave. Don’t leave them to the last day or your last few hours. If you’re pushed for time, what are the priority tasks you need to complete to keep things moving while you’re away? What can wait until you get back and is there anything that’s likely to slip through?

Set time limits on tasks. You’ll get things done quicker and be less distracted, especially if you only have a limited amount of time available.

Delegate – What’s going to happen to your business or workload while you’re away? Who’s going to answer calls, respond to emails, look after your clients, customers and projects? If you need extra resources, ask in good time.

Remember to switch on your voicemail and/or ‘out of office’ message (and switch it off when you return – make a note in your diary).

Handover – Set up a handover meeting(s) with your team or direct reports a day or two before your last day in the office.

If you have the right systems and processes in place it will be easy to provide status updates and keep track of projects and expected actions while you’re away.

Communicate – Let your team, customers and clients know when you’re going to be away and for how long. Give them and yourself plenty of time if you’re expecting work from them or need to get information, updates to them before you go.

And finally …

You holiday is meant to be a break from work – unless you’ve specifically booked it as a working holiday and your family or friends are in agreement, avoid the temptation to work while you’re away. While a cursory check of emails may be needed or you might be contacted in an emergency – focus on your family and friends first.

If you find you often spend the first few days of your holiday feeling unwell, exhausted or ill, you way be suffering from adrenal rebound. It will take you longer to relax, unwind and enjoy your holiday.

If you’re in the habit of spending much of your intended ‘holiday’ working, it’s an indication that something’s missing or needs to change. You need to look more seriously at your time habits, your boundaries and priorities.

communicate

On your return:

• Don’t overload your first few days back at work.
• Allow time for planning and catch-up on your first day back.
• Book handover/update meetings with your team.

If you want to enjoy a stress-free holiday and be more in control of your workload but don’t know where to start – give me a call or book a time for us to chat and make your next holiday even more relaxed and stress-free.

Carnival

Thinking of Holidaying in 2016? Think Aruba

1024 640 Aruba Tourism Authority

aruba-carnaval

Benefiting from year-round sunshine, an average temperature of 32 degrees and its location outside the hurricane belt, make Aruba your island this year.

Check out what’s news on this Dutch Caribbean island for 2016.

Packed Diary of Events for 2016

Aruba has unveiled a packed diary of events for 2016 with fun, cultural, sporting and entertainment dates for every member of the family.

The year kicks off with the biggest event of the year and everyone’s favourite, Aruba’s spectacular annual Carnival. Following the opening Torch Parade and Carnival Queen elections, there is a Children’s Grand Carnival Parade in capital Oranjestad on January 31, when hundreds of youngsters come together to show off their dancing skills and colourful costumes.

The island’s second city of San Nicolas witnesses a Lighting Parade on February 4, also featuring dance, music and carnival spirit. Two days later, the city hosts its Grand Carnival Parade, prelude to the Grand Carnival Parade in Oranjestad on February 7 This is the largest of Carnival events combining unforgettable music, spectacular floats and original costumes decorated with eye-catching stones, sequins ad feathers, creating a unique display. The fun begins at 10am and continues into the early evening.

For sport enthusiasts, the 31st Aruba International Half Marathon is on March 20, and the 10k 56th International Boulevard Race, which attracts hundreds of runners from all over the world, is scheduled for April 27.

The first of Aruba’s major music extravaganzas is on the calendar for May 25-30. The Aruba Soul Beach Music Festival is a star-studded two-night concert series, featuring top names from the world of entertainment.

Yachtsmen descend on the island on August 12-14 for the 2016 Aruba International Regatta while those who care for the marina environment can help during the annual Aruba Reef Care Project on September 25. More than 800 volunteers traditionally help with a clean-up of the island’s most popular beaches and dive and snorkel sites.

Music fans enjoy a treat again over the September 23 and 24 weekend when the 10th Annual Caribbean Sea Jazz Festival is hosted on the island, again bringing together stars for an impressive entertainment line-up, adding to an unforgettable atmosphere with food stands, bars and parties.

Foodies have their time from October 3 to 16 with Restaurant Week when more than 60 restaurants offer everyone the chance to experience Aruba’s extraordinary culinary diversity.

New on the diary this year is Challenge Aruba 2016, where athletes can challenge themselves to a 1.9km swim, followed by a 90 km cycle and a 21 km run.

Aruba’s International Beach Tennis Tournament, November 13-20 is the premier tournament in the Caribbean, attracting pros and amateurs from around the globe.

Bucuti-_-Tara-Beach-Resort-Strand

Aruba Builds UK Links

Aruba’s growing popularity with UK travellers continues, with additional holiday companies adding the island to their menu of destinations, new holidays twinning it with the USA and extra flights launching this summer.

Fly direct with Thomson Holidays from either Manchester or London Gatwick this summer with prices starting from just £973 per person staying seven nights at the Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino. Flights operate from late April to November from Gatwick and May to October from Manchester. Don’t miss out on your seat on the new Dreamliner.

Virgin Holidays is the latest big-name tour operator to offer Aruba. Featured in its latest Caribbean and Mexico brochure, Virgin is offering packages based on KLM flights via Amsterdam, thereby offering departures from London-Heathrow and 15 regional airports. Four hotels are offered in Aruba – the adults-only Bucuti & Tar Beach Resort, the Hyatt Regency, Occidental Grand Aruba and the Hilton Aruba Caribbean Resort & Casino. Prices start at £1,779 for a seven-night holiday.

Twin centre options with the USA are now also offered with My America Holidays. The island is paired with either New York or Miami’s South Beach. Prices start at £1,675, based on 10 nights, with accommodation at Aruba’s Manchebo Beach Resort and Spa and a stay in New York. The Miami option is priced from £1,975, with accommodation at Aruba’s Mill Resort and Spa.

For the latest news and events, please go to www.aruba.com

 

family holidays

How to Survive the Holidays

1024 682 Clare Evans, Personal and Business Coach

holidays

We’re coming up to holiday season. The time of year when children will be off school for several weeks over the Summer. You still need to work but you also want to spend time with the family.

How can you survive the holidays while you’re juggling childcare and keeping work and your business going and enjoy some time off with the children?

If you’ve booked your annual leave and you’re going away, you know you’ll have set ‘holiday’ time with them. Decide how much time you have available and what you want to do with it.

With a full time job and work commitments, it’s not practical or feasible to take the whole of the Summer school break off. You need to come up with a balance that works for you and for your children.

If you and your partner need to work, organise childcare for a few hours with friends and family if you can. Perhaps you can then do the same for them in return.
Older children may be able to look after themselves or go off and play with friends. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plan quality time with them. Book off a day a week when you can all be together, have some fun and leave work behind.

Start by deciding what you need to do over the next few weeks and when you’re doing to do it. Just because you have less time available for work, doesn’t mean your productivity and what you can achieve, needs to drop. Stay focused and select only the important, high value tasks when time is limited.

A few focused hours is a far more effective use of your time than trying to juggle work around family commitments, spending a whole day being distracted and ending up feeling guilty and overwhelmed.
Your clients, customers and providers are likely to take time off so there’s no reason why you aren’t expected to be unavailable for a couple of weeks.

Plan accordingly. Give advanced warning and notice of when you’re available, when you’re away and what date they will need to get work or information to you before you go. Be clear about how much work you can realistically complete before you go and what will be done when you return.

Set their expectations upfront and you can avoid or push back any last minute demands. The more you give in or take on, the more pressure you put yourself under, the longer hours you’ll end up working and the more stressed you’ll be, especially if you’re trying to get everything finished before you go. What’s the minimum you need to do to keep things moving forward or ticking over?

Prioritise – select the ‘most important’ tasks you need to work on. You’ll be surprised at the results you can get when you focus on the right things. Fit only a realistic amount of work in to the time you have available. Set time limits on tasks – you’ll get things done quicker and be less distracted.

Even if you can be flexible with your working hours, there’s little point in trying to squeeze in a full working day by starting early and working late, in an attempt to spend time with the family during the day. It might work for a couple of days but you’ll end up worn out and even more stressed.

DO NOT TAKE YOUR COMPUTER, TABLET OR SMARTPHONE ON HOLIDAY (at least not with the intention of working)! Create a clear boundary between your work and holiday time.

If you feel you can’t avoid working while on holiday – what needs to change to prevent this happening next time around?

Limit any ‘work’ time to only an hour or two – checking emails if necessary (or find out how to clear a holiday email backlog).

Create systems and processes to simplify and organise your workload. Are there any areas you need to change? How could you improve your delegating skills so you can enjoy a work and stress-free holiday?

If you’d like to enjoy a relaxed and stress-free holiday, book up a free Strategy Session and I’ll show you how.