It’s summertime in the northern hemisphere and social media is flooded with images of fantastic holidays at beautiful destinations. Regardless of your profession, everyone loves to get away, be it for a weekend or the trip of a lifetime. Indeed, while we WWKD readers think the Duchess of Cambridge has one of the best jobs in the world, even she likes to step back and take time with her family. Planning is key, as Catherine surely knows, to taking time off without losing pace or feeling overwhelmed.
Clear your desk. This looks different for everyone, depending on your line of work and whether you have your own gig or are reporting to management. Ironically, Kate probably feels the tension of both – while her work is ultimately to support The Queen, the Duchess of Cambridge is in many ways her own brand. She will have both projects of her own as well as to-dos from Her Majesty to tend to before stepping away for a break.
Set expectations and boundaries . . . In other words, don’t just turn on that out-of-office reply and skip town. Duchess Kate’s maternity leave with Prince Louis gives a great example of setting expectations before a lengthy absence. She made it clear to us (and the press, and her charities) that she would be mostly offline until the autumn. No one is calling her for a last minute ribbon cutting or plaque unveiling, because she has already set the parameters for her time away from her official duties.
. . . or not . . . However, for a shorter get away, Kate and family love to slip away. Often times, they’re back at KP before we even know they’ve left.
Check in only as needed and delegate where you can. In our plugged-in world, this can be the hardest part of a successful holiday. It’s impossible to recharge when you’re constantly checking emails, but it‘s equally difficult to relax when you’re worried about your work. While the Duchess of Cambridge is away from official duties, she undoubtedly still checks in with her staff to make sure nothing critical misses her eye. But knowing her absolute passion for giving her attention to George, Charlotte, and Louis, I am certain she delegates or puts off many non-critical tasks or decisions until she is back at her desk.
Control the reentry. It is so tempting to squeeze every last second out of your holiday, but you’ll feel the benefits of your recharge for much longer if you don’t have a full day of meetings to walk into on your first day back. We don’t see Catherine hop off the helicopter and walk straight into an important meeting, and neither should you. To the extent possible, build in a day upon your return to catch up on essentials.
How do you take time for yourself? Let us know in the comments!