How I have changed the way I holiday.


It’s holiday season again and I’m taking a holiday with my family.

We’re not going far but we are going away and I am taking a break from the “every day”.

And it will be a proper break … no working on the sly.

When I set up Partners With You I stopped taking a complete break from work and instead I kept my phone and laptop with me, checked in and pretended to be at work for my clients. If I was going to the beach, I would say I was in a meeting and usually ended up rushing the family home so I could send the requested proposal or documentation.

The thing is, the proposals were never any good and my service levels fell. And that was despite messing up the holiday for the family. I often came back as tired and with the same headspace as I had when I left.

Some years back I decided something had to change. Communicating information to my clients and providing great customer service was still important to me, but I needed time away too. Trying to holiday and work at the same time means you do neither well.

Now you may not be running your own business but you may feel you need to stay in touch with work, be applying for jobs or sorting out life admin while still trying to take a break. And there is a pressure in feeling that you mustn’t work … life sometimes gets in the way.

So, here are my tips to help you holiday in peace:

  • Tell people you are going away and put a bounce back message on your email to say when you are back.
  • If you don’t have anyone else to check your emails set aside time at the end of the day to respond … and say that you are doing this on your bounce back message.
  • If you feel the need to, give a mobile number they can text you on if they need an urgent response.
  • Change your mobile message to say you are on holiday, tell them to leave a message if they want you to respond when you are back (give them the date) or to text you if it’s urgent.
  • Resist the urge to answer your phone, pick up messages or check your emails during the day. They will text you if you are needed.

Invariably nothing will be so urgent that you get texted and you will get a proper break!

Try it and let me know how it goes for you below.

4 thoughts on “How I have changed the way I holiday.”

  1. Sally, this absolutely rings true. I had to stop taking my laptop on holiday. Years back I worked all day on a project for someone who HAD TO HAVE IT NOW. Only to discover, the following week they were away and had decided to put it hold until after they were back from holiday. Lesson learned!

    1. Sally Hindmarch

      Oh Julia how frustrating! But I am sure many of us have similar stories!

      One of the first questions I ask someone when they say they need something NOW is … why? It often makes them reconsider and if they do need it NOW at least I understand the urgency … and if they have told you their why they may reconsider putting it on hold!

  2. Do you have any advice for people who have lost their jobs but for the sake of the family, and themselves need a break?

    Obviously they don’t want to miss an opportunity and will probably be feeling guilty at not focusing on getting another job.

    This also applies to someone who has just set up a new business, there have been many of these during the Pandemic.


    Peter H.

  3. Sally Hindmarch

    Hi Peter

    I think the above stands what ever the situation. You should put a response on your email to say you are away but responding to urgent texts. Change your voice mail to say the same and then take your break.

    I think the days of clients and bosses (current or future) expecting you to be available 24/7 365 days of the year are gone and the idea of you being in need of a break is more acceptable than it was a few decades ago.

    My only caveat is that you MUST tell recruitment agents, clients or prospects who you are currently working with, that you are off on your hols. Otherwise their expectations will be different to your reality!

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