How to Survive the Days Leading up to Vacation

by Brianna Krueger /
Brianna Krueger's picture
Mar 05, 2018 / 0 comments

The days leading up to a vacation are torture. Work needs to get done, but the thoughts of a piña colada in your hand, the sun on your face, the smell of salty water, and, of course, not working, are all way more fascinating. It’s not every day one gets a vacation, compared to yet another RFP – your 8th that week. Can’t work get on the same page and go take a hike? I hear it’ll be beautiful from the top!

Unfortunately, life goes on as you wait for your trip, so you do your best to push through your workload, while jamming to Komoko… Shoot. That wasn’t such a good idea – now I’m wondering how to ‘get there fast and then take it slow because that’s where I want to go.’ And I’m pretty sure my clock stopped working. There’s no way only five minutes have passed – it’s been an hour!

If work is getting in the way of your vacation vacation vibes are getting in the way of your work, here are a few helpful tips to get you through the week.

How to Survive the Days Leading up to Vacation

Priortize your work to stay busy

If you know you’re prone to daydreaming about your vacation or that your motivation slowly slips with each closer day you get to escaping from the office, get the important tasks done the first half of the week,  when your motivation is still at your highest. Tackle those big tasks to keep your mind focused  and busy – and then you can happily leave the office without worrying that it’s not complete and it will either be a) waiting for you when you come back, or b) tossed onto your already-busy co-worker’s workload and they’ll despise you for a little bit. 

Leave happy, but come back happier to clean desk and non-pissed off co-worker by focusing while you can. Future you will thank you.

How to Survive the Days Leading up to Vacation

Don’t (completely) Slack Off

No matter how burnt out you are, or are in need of a restoring your sanity, don’t let yourself slack or drastically change your routine. Taking longer lunches because you’re so ready for vacation, or looking at pictures of where you’re going will make it that much more difficult to stay focused and get work done (see above). Keeping to your regular routine will help keep your motivation.

You may need this vacation, but work still needs you. Slack the hell out of the week you’re not actually physically or mentally in the office.

How to Survive the Days Leading up to Vacation

Plan for your Return

Thinking about coming back to work before you even left sounds like you’re trying to torture yourself, but think of future you. It’s never easy coming back after a week off. All those e-mails to sort through, meetings to dive back into, and work to catch up on. You can make all that easier to handle by preparing before you leave. What can you delegate? Who can accept e-mails on your behalf? What can you get ahead on?

You’re going to get enough “Welcome Backs” that you’re going to have to pretend to like (really, who enjoys coming back that first day?) - give yourself a ‘Welcome Back’ you can appreciate. 

Hide the Clock

Time likes to mock us. And if you have a habit of checking your watch/phone/clock every ten minutes but realize only a minutes have gone by, hide it! Out of sight, out of mind, and suddenly time moves so that minute becomes an hour.

Maybe you need to leave your phone at home or use a sticky note to cover the time, but not seeing it will allow you to work without the pressures of time seeming standing still.

By the time you start thinking “it’s gotta be 5 o’clock somewhere,” it will be 5 o’clock there.

Take Mini Breaks

If motivation begins to hide from you, take a break, and go on a walk. Perhaps on your walk, you’ll find a spark of motivation. Getting up and moving is proven to help get your brain functioning. 

If taking a stroll around your office isn’t your thing, grab a glass of water, eat a healthy snack, or take some time to check social media or your game apps on your phone. A little break should get you in the mood to do a little work.

Talk About your Trip

Prior to leaving the office, it’s courteous to let people know you’ll be off; in the process, they’re usually curious to hear about where you’re going, so talk about it! But limit yourself to this being the only time you think about your trip. That way, you’re indulging in your escapism while making polite conversation with co-workers, and managing to keep your head in the game. 

Say ‘Screw It’ and enjoy some memes that relate to how you’re feeling

How to Survive the Days Leading up to Vacation

If all the above fail, it sounds like you maybe should have booked your vacation for a week earlier, because it sounds like you really need it!

How to Survive the Days Leading up to Vacation

What works best for you?

Pin for later:
How to Survive the Days Leading up to Vacation



Brianna Krueger is the Chief Editor of Wandering Educators. She's going on vacation next week...