Whether you have a scheduled business trip, have decided to turn digital nomad, or simply need some time to unwind, you should know how to stay organized during your vacation.

Sadly, for many people, switching off their gadgets is not an option. In the hectic world of today, work just won’t leave us be even for a couple of days. We just can't seem to let go of those tasks that just can't wait, or other aspects of a hectic and troubling job\.

Still, you can plan ahead so that your vacation time won’t suffer. Drawing clear lines between working bouts and unwinding may be the best approach.

Let’s take a look at how to enjoy your time off without your business suffering in the process. And remember - these tips can also apply to expats working or traveling abroad.

1. Set Boundaries
The greatest challenge of all is setting boundaries, but it is also the very first step towards a successful vacation plan. After all, it’s a vacation we’re talking about.

Picking up every single phone call simply isn’t an option.
That is to say, you’ll need to inform colleagues and clients that you’ll be off-limits for a specified amount of time.

Let them know you won’t be available during the regular working hours. You can leave a pre-recorded message to that effect.

2. Prioritize Tasks Beforehand
Next, prioritize your tasks before setting out. Write down every single task, sort them by priority and set deadlines.
For the best results, use a task management tool or automed Gmail workflows. Not only will it save loads of time, but it will also allow you to add comments for better visibility.

3. Create a To-Do List for When You’re Back
After the vacation is over, people often feel overwhelmed getting back to work. If you need to work while vacationing too, this just may be too much.

To avoid post-vacation depression, create a to-do list for the upcoming tasks. Once you’re back, you’ll already have a schedule prepared and you can take your time adjusting to the routine. Plus, be sure not to forget about your cross-cultural learnings, and apply them to your day-to-day environment.

4. Plan Time-Slots for Work
You’ll want to enjoy your vacation to its fullest, so once you have arrived at the destination and got a couple of ideas on the places you want to visit and activities to enjoy, you may plan the time in-between for work.

Make a schedule for priority tasks and allocate a realistic amount of time for each. You can allocate a couple of hours in-between other activities if that suits your plans better.
I.e., you can rise early and do a portion of work while your family is taking their time showering and enjoying breakfast. Then you can take a break after lunch to continue on the task.

Whatever your plans, don’t overdo it. Enjoy your vacation, no matter what. Making that new order for porcelain tables lamps can be passed on to another team member

5. Take Breaks
Don’t skip breaks. This is the very same rule that applies to a regular working day. People feel overwhelmed way too often for their own good. When you’re vacationing, this is especially a huge no-go.

Using the example above, you can rise early and do a portion of work, then take a swimming break. Grab a drink on your way back and do another portion of work.

Be creative with the choice of workspace. You can stay at the hotel or find a nice café that’s not too noisy. A change in scenery can do wonders for your creativity, even if you’re skipping on free activities. Plus, you can even reduce your carbon footprint by just getting away in nature.

. Don’t Pack A Whole Array of Gadgets
How many times have we seen this bad habit in people? You know, those types of people who are glued to one screen or another whole day long on the beach? Makes one wonder why they bothered vacationing at all.

By all means necessary, avoid the temptation of packing the whole range of your gadgets. There really is no need to bring a laptop, a tablet, two cell phones and three external HDs in case something goes wrong. A portable Wi-Fi router is probably the only thing you shouldn’t overlook, as there is no guarantee that technology will work all the time.

Bring the gadgets you’re certain you’ll need, but not those that you may or may not need. Worst comes to worst, there will be one coworking space or another that will help you get things done efficiently and stress-free.

7. Keep Paperwork to a Minimum
If you can’t avoid bringing paperwork with you, make sure to keep it at a minimum. For, not only will it make your luggage heavier, but there is a high possibility that you will actually displace some of the papers.

If it is possible, make digital copies. If it isn’t, sort the paperwork and bring only the pieces you cannot go without while on your vacation.

Last But Not Least
If you stick to all these steps, you are certain to enjoy your vacation to the fullest in your downtime, while still managing your tasks. The only thing that is left is to decide (beforehand) how to deal with incoming emails and phone calls.

Email notifications are arguably the biggest mood killer, so you can set up the auto-respond function on your email program before you set out. Combined with the pre-recorded message that lets the callers know you’ll be away, you may simply turn to checking urgent messages and phone calls at your own convenience.

That, and don’t forget to enjoy your well-deserved vacation!

Author's Bio: 

Angela Ash is a professional writer and editor, who focuses on topics related to business, productivity, time management, mental health and travel. She also has her own travel blog at Destination Diaries, and works with Flow SEO.