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5 ways to stop working on your vacation

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  • 25 percent of workers plan to stay in contact with work during their vacations
  • Planning ahead will prevent scheduling a vacation near project big due date
  • Bosses should set examples for employees - separate work and personal life
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By Brent Rasmussen
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CareerBuilder

Editor's note: CNN.com has a business partnership with CareerBuilder.com, which serves as the exclusive provider of job listings and services to CNN.com.

To keep your work from interfering with your relaxing time, turn off your cell phone, pager, computer, etc.

To keep your work from interfering with your relaxing time, turn off your cell phone, pager, computer, etc.

Vacation is the oasis in the midst of your occupational desert, if you will.

It's the respite from the daily grind that we look forward to all year, whether it comes during the summer or the winter holidays or a random long weekend.

After all, even if you like your job, doesn't everybody deserve a few days to themselves?

Apparently not.

Twenty-five percent of workers said they planned to stay in contact with work during their vacations, CareerBuilder.com's annual survey found. Nine percent said their bosses expect them to work or check their voicemail and e-mail when vacationing.

Fifty percent of sales workers planned to check in with work on vacation, while IT workers and financial services workers followed behind with 37 percent of each doing the same.

In order to escape the grip of their jobs and avoid the stress that their vacations cause, seven percent of workers have even lied to their employers about being accessible and said that they couldn't be reached while away.

Unfortunately, not everybody can finagle their way out of working on vacation. Fifteen percent of workers had to give up vacation time last year because they couldn't find time to use them. Nine percent of workers gave up four or more days of vacation time.

Despite the popularity of taking the office on vacation, catching up on work is not on the itinerary of most getaways. When asked what they plan to do on their vacation, workers listed traveling as the most popular activity. Visiting family and friends and resting were the next most popular goals.

What can you do?

While you might not be able to single-handedly change your company's policy for working while on vacation, you can take some steps to make your time off as enjoyable as possible.

1. Don't keep your trip a secret. Although you might've mentioned your vacation once a few months ago, don't expect everybody to remember. As you make preparations for the trip, be sure to remind the appropriate people that you will be gone.

2. Keep a journal. Part of preparing for your trip is making sure that the people back at work can keep things running smoothly in your absence. In a journal, list your daily activities and responsibilities so that the people charged with filling in for you know what to expect and how to handle any tasks that come their way.

3. Take a look at the calendar. If you have a huge project due at the end of the summer, for your sanity and the sake of your work, avoid scheduling a vacation at that time. The more room you leave between the project and your vacation, the better off you'll be. You don't want to be stressed out if the project gets delayed or it requires more work than you anticipated.

4. Be disciplined. If you have a job where you either absolutely must work or at least check in with your employer, designate a brief period of time for these tasks. Your friends or family vacationing with you don't want to share their relaxing trip with your laptop and cell phone, so keep the work to a minimum.

5. Be a role model. If you're the boss, set an example for your team by going on vacations and leaving work behind. If others see you able to separate work from your personal life, they'll have a better attitude and be able to follow your lead.

Copyright CareerBuilder.com 2009. All rights reserved. The information contained in this article may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority

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