Signs You’re Not Actually on Vacation

I scheduled a sorely needed vacation for this week. I needed some down time from work and a little bit of a recharge. My vacation was supposed to start Sunday but I still don’t feel like I’ve really shutdown and am getting the rest and relaxation I need. Here are the things I’ve noticed that mean I haven’t started my vacation yet.

Still Working

Well, I was on Sunday. A project that was supposed to wrap two weeks ago needed some last minute support on Sunday and I was the only one who could provide it. That meant I had to sit down in front of my computer and work on my vacation. Ugh.

Checking Business Email

As a freelancer, email is my main communication channel. I get noticeably upset when I have a large amount of correspondence unread. Because of this, checking my email has become something of a compulsion: I check it first thing in the morning and then every chance I can throughout the day.

Because I’m not actually doing development work, this means I have tons of time to exercise this (admittedly terrible) habit. I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m not checking my email yet, but I’m close.

Thinking About the Last Project

I referenced above that I worked on a project while I was supposed to be vacationing. I thought that launching it would be the end of the line for that project, but I still find myself dwelling on things I could have done differently to make the project go smoother, deploy faster, or work better. After working on something for 8 months, I thought I would be able to get it out of my mind once it was live. I haven’t been able to do that yet.

Figuring Out New Projects

I have work lined up for when I come back – the projects are clearly specified and look like they’ll be a lot of fun. I shouldn’t have to think about them while I’m vacationing, but I still am. I’m anticipating how I’m going to make sure the new projects get done on time and on budget.

I really need to take a step back and realize there is time to take care of the new stuff when it arrives (better planning has ensured that) and enjoy my vacation while it is here.

What About You?

I’m sure I’m not alone in my vacation failure. How do you deal with vacationing as a freelancer?

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