3 Annoying Summer Vacation Dilemmas—Solved!

Make it fun and keep it simple. Some GTD tips for staying healthy on vacation. Featured in http://www.self.com.

Your days spent out of the office are special, but limited. Here’s how to make sure you’re getting the most out of every epic moment.

#1 Summer Dilemma: Checking email on vacation or signing off for the week?

Which is better: Checking in. Stressing about what you’re letting slide or dealing with the dread of returning to an overflowing inbox can be worse than taking a few minutes each day to stay on top of things. And checking email has become such an ingrained habit—one that’s going to be really hard to suddenly try to break, says Shamsi Iqbal, who studies productivity and multitasking at Microsoft Research. Try what she calls “interruption management:” Pick a time that’s not going to disrupt your vacation fun, such as the beginning or end of the day, and set aside just five minutes to check in—but not to do work. Only look at what’s absolutely necessary (delete what you don’t need and flag what you do). Then turn off your notifications so you’re not distracted by every ding—or, better yet, set your phone aside for the rest of the day or night.

#2 Summer Dilemma: Taking a break from exercising on vacation or stressing about fitting it in?

Which is better: Relaxing and having fun. “The purpose of vacation is to restore and recharge mentally and physically,” says Cris Dobrosielski, author of Going the Distance and consultant for the American Council on Exercise. So maybe skip the treadmill intervals or the hill repeats and look for other ways to get moving that will still allow you to enjoy yourself. Now’s the time for a sightseeing bike ride, a hike through the local ruins or a stand-up paddleboard lesson. Bonus: Switching up your routine can challenge muscles in new ways and help you out of a workout rut. Aim for a few days over the week, says Dobrosielski. You’ll keep up your baseline fitness, burn some calories and maybe even find your new favorite activity. (Note: If you’re training for a race, Dobrosielski recommends doing the bare minimum while you’re away. For example, if your marathon training plan has you running five days a week, cut back to three, focusing on the long run.)

#3 Summer Dilemma: You have to catch a really early flight. Should you stay up all night and go straight to the airport, or nap for a couple hours before you have to wake up?

Which is better: Going to sleep. “You’re always better getting some sleep instead of none,” says Eric J. Olson, MD, co-director of the Center for Sleep Medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. While it may seem more practical to just keep busy until you need to leave at 4 A.M., pulling an all-nighter will worsen the severity of jet lag, especially if you’re crossing time zones. And that short snooze will give you an energy boost that can last until you get on the plane (when you can try to take another nap). Just be aware that sleep deprivation (less than five or six hours) can impair your judgment and slow your reaction time—so consider taking a cab or getting a ride to the airport.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

one × three =