The whole idea of a vacation is to kick back, relax and forget all about anything that stresses you out but, sometimes when on vacation, we find ourselves doing the opposite.
Completely switching off and avoiding your texts, calls and work-related emails can prove more difficult than you think. Sitting on a sun lounger with a cocktail in hand should be the perfect time to forget about the rest of the world but it’s also prime pondering time when you can easily begin to sweat the small stuff and worry about the pile of work awaiting your return to work.
However at Twist OP, we believe there is a time to work and a time to sit on the beach, and not have one single care in the world, and here are 4 tips we think will help you relax and enjoy your vacation.
Finish all the work you can before you go on vacation and then delegate everything else. It’s a good opportunity to practice your delegating skills and it will show you trust your colleagues too, which is always a positive thing. If you’re worried about one project in particular, or the person you’re delegating to, provide contact details for a colleague you trust most in case they need assistance.
Set an out of office message on your emails. Checking emails can be addictive, and often too easy if you have access to them on your phone. But if you’re checking in on them a few times a day on holiday, you’re not properly taking the break you really need. An out of office message will tell the person emailing you that you’re not available, so don’t be concerned about getting back to them. And if you add contact details for a colleague in your absence, then important queries will find their way to the right person in the end.
If you do have to check emails and there is no other way around it, then be strict with yourself. Schedule a few minutes every day or two to check in on emails and respond to the necessary ones. Be mindful of the time you choose as you don’t want to spoil your free time with your family or friends. Pick a time early in the day, even before breakfast and then dedicate the rest of your day to enjoying your time off.
Switch off work-related notifications. Switch off email alerts and sign out of any work-related social media accounts so that you’re not bombarded with notifications throughout the day and night.
Trust your colleagues
When they take time off, they leave the work to you. So trust that they will do the same in your absence. And remember, if it’s something really important, they will find a way to reach you. Make the decision to enjoy yourself. You deserve this break, you’ve worked hard and you’ve saved harder. Going back to work stressed and worried won’t prove very productive so take the time off, enjoy it, and you’ll find you return to the office bright eyed, bushy tailed and ready to take on the world once again.
Whether you take a vacation or not, you can still enjoy summer fun at the office:
No matter how careful we are, at some point we've all mindlessly left an item in the car on a hot summer day. It's especially easy to do on a holiday when distracted with preparations and schedules. The result? A mushy mess, sticky explosion or lingering stench. Here are 15 hidden (and obvious) items to never leave in your car on any hot summer day.
1. Sunscreen. Pressurized cans of sunscreen can burst, contents in bottles or tubes can become dangerously hot, liquefy and potentially burn your skin.
2. Medication. Since heat can degrade potency, prescription drugs typically feature a warning label with an ideal storage temperature, usually a cool, dry place or room temperature - not a steamy car.
3. Perishable groceries. If you're not heading directly to the fridge, keep a cooler with ice or ice packs for dairy, meat, produce or melt-able edibles like chocolate.
4. Electronics. Sweltering temps can cook the inner workings of cell phones, MP3 players, GPS systems and digital cameras.
5. Personal care items. Your lipstick or lip balm will turn semi-liquid, cans of hairspray or deodorant can explode, even perfume can change aroma, so make sure you take these with you.
6. Dirty clothes or shoes. Whatever smells foul in a cool car will increase in intensity when the car temperature reaches 120.
7. Disposable lighters. Another summertime hazard, lighters can detonate, shooting tiny pieces of plastic throughout the car and leaving burn marks behind.
8. Eyeglasses. Blazing hot temperatures can melt and warp lenses and frames, whether plastic or metal. Take your expensive prescription glasses with you before locking up.
9. Plastic items. This includes credit cards with magnetic strips which warp; even popular flip flops have been known to disintegrate.
10. Crayons. While coloring keeps children entertained en route to the beach, forgotten crayons leave behind a globby, albeit colorful, mess. Be sure to search under or between seats.
11. Cans of soda pop. No picnic is complete without them, but soda cans become a soda bomb if left in the car. Since they easily roll out of site, double check the trunk and under seats.
12. Blu-rays, CDs, DVDs, USB sticks, Memory cards and VHS tapes can get ruined.
13. Wet swimsuits. They're a petri dish for bacteria.
14. Photographs. Photos can fade when exposed to heat for extended periods.
15. Batteries. These can leak harmful acid causing skin and respiratory irritation.
Keep your summer safe and mess-free with help from Twist OP where you can find all the supplies you need for perfect summer fun.
June has arrived and it's packed with loads of fun and facts.
. The first is that the month is named after the Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and equivalent to the Greek goddess Hera; the second is that the name comes from the Latin word iuniores, meaning “younger ones,” as opposed to maiores (“elders”) for which the preceding month May may be named.
. June is the month with the longest daylight hours of the year in the Northern Hemisphere and the shortest daylight hours of the year in the Southern Hemisphere.
. June is known for the large number of marriages that occur over the course of the month.
. June is filled with graduations, from middle school to college.
. We've got Flag Day on the 14th followed by Father's Day on the 15th.
. The solstice called the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and the winter solstice in the southern hemisphere occurs on dates varying from 20 June to 21 June.
Whatever you are celebrating in June, we have you covered from gifts to cups to invitations. Check us out at www.twistop.com
With the unofficial end of summer just a week away, the weather sure is making some of us melt away with the heat.. WE have fans, and plates and napkins ready to be delivered to you just in time for the end of summer heat wave and the holiday week. The Maine Famer's Almanac for 2014 came out today and they are promising us a frigid winter. Can you feel C-O-L-D? Nope, I can't at all. But it's coming. So enjoy this late summer heat wave and get everything you need for the heat and the coming cold at www.twistop.com
It's official, the dog days of summer are here. Back in Roman times, the dog days of summer were between July 24 and August 24. The Old Farmer's Almanac now refers to the dog days of summer as the 40 days between July 3rd and ending August 11th which coincides with the heliacal rising of the Dog Star, Sirius. Typically this period results in the least amount of rain in the Northern Hemisphere. I don't think that's true this year.
Speaking of dogs, which city's hot dog has the most toppings?
. New York
. San Francisco
Drum roll...The Chicago Dog wins with yellow mustard, dark green relish, chopped raw onion and tomato slices. Portillo's anyone? Enjoy the Dog Days of Summer, before we know it the kids will be getting ready for school, Friday night football and there will be a slight chill in the air. And for those of you who like to get started early on your back-to-school shopping, we have everything you need at www.twistop.com
It’s official – we are in the midst of a heat wave. Three consecutive days over 90 degrees is making the Midwest and Eastern states hazy, hot and humid. What’s the single most important thing to do? Stay inside with air-conditioning. No air? Libraries and malls are the next best thing. Second most important thing – stay hydrated – water is best. Skip that second cup of coffee and avoid alcohol because too much caffeine or alcohol will only dehydrate you more. Don’t leave pets or kids in cars – even with the air on – the temperatures can get over 120 degrees in a matter of minutes if the air fails. Try to avoid being outside if at all possible, the evening hours will bring a bit of relief but not much. If you must be outside, bring along a wet cool towel to drape over your neck or mist yourself with water every half hour. Do not turn on your stove – grill if possible or a nice cold salad or sandwich will keep you full and your house cool. Laundry? Try running big appliances during off-peak hours. The good news? Storms should pop up Friday and Saturday which will end this heat wave. Stay cool from your friends at www.twistop.com
How to Beat the Summer Heat at Work
Not all of us enjoy working in the comfort of an air-conditioned office. Many toil under the summer sun or in over-heated factories, making it a challenge to stay cool. If that’s you, these tips can help you beat the heat.
Lighten up. Darker colors absorb more sunlight, so dress for the heat with light-colored clothing in breathable fabrics. Nothing should be too tight so it can allow for good airflow. If acceptable at your workplace, wear short-sleeved shirts, shorts or a skirt.
Protect Yourself. Think you don’t need sunscreen on cloudy days? Think again. According to the American Academy of Dermatology up to 80 percent of the sun?s harmful rays can still penetrate your skin when there’s cloud cover. Look for a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, and offers protection against UVA and UVB rays. Reapply at least one ounce (enough to fill a shot glass) every two hours. Slather up 15 minutes prior to going outdoors so it dries completely. Add sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays and a wide-brimmed hat to shade your face and shoulders and keep you cooler in general.
Cool it. Work in well-ventilated areas or try to stay on the lowest floor available out of the sun. Workplaces should have plenty of ventilation with cooling spots. Good airflow increases evaporation of sweat, which cools the skin.
Drink up. Drink plenty of water or juice and avoid sugary sodas, energy drinks, coffee or other hot beverages which can accelerate dehydration. Under moderately strenuous outdoor activity, your body loses fluids faster than it can absorb them. Aim for one cup of cool water every 20 minutes even if you don’t feel thirsty. One caveat: If you are on fluid-restrictive diet or have a problem with fluid retention consult a doctor before increasing liquid intake.
Pace Yourself. Slow down and take breaks in an air-conditioned area to give your body a chance to recover from the heat. If you spend even two hours a day in a cooler area, it can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness. Plan your most strenuous work for the hours before or after 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the hottest part of the day.
Cleanliness Counts. Warmer temperatures mean more of us may be lunching outside or holding company picnics. Always wash hands with hot, soapy water before and after handling food and drinks. Perishable foods should never be left out for more than two hours; only one hour if the temperature is above 90º.
Be Aware. Mental confusion, a flushed face, and dry hot skin are classic signs of heat stroke. If you start to feel light-headed, dizzy, or weak take a break immediately. Seek medical attention if these symptoms don?t subside after getting out of the heat. Watch out for other heat-related hazards like smog and ozone which affect breathing.
While safety is important all year-long, additional precautions are needed during hot months. These tips should help you stay cool, comfortable and productive despite the summertime temperatures.
The Best Fun and Free Summer Activities Summer’s here! Time to get out and enjoy. Best of all, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to do it. Here are a few low or no-cost ways to have some fun.
Go Attend free workshops at your local craft or hardware store. Many retailers regularly conduct free classes on everything from knitting and floral arrangement to gardening and basic home repair. It’s the perfect time to learn something new and ask questions without embarrassment. Some retailers even hold special Saturday clinics for children.
Go on a picnic. Pack some sandwiches, fruit and snacks and head over to your local park with a blanket, books and games for an afternoon of fun and relaxation.
Check out local events. You’re probably not aware of all your town has to offer for free – antique car shows, art fairs, historic re-enactments, band concerts, film festivals in the park, and more. Check your community calendar online for a listing. And don’t forget museums, science centers, zoos, and even bowling alleys. Most have a free or reduced admission one day a week.
Visit a state park. Each state has several, so it’s likely there’s one in your neck of the woods. For a nominal entrance fee – sometimes even free – the park is yours to explore.
Fish in a local pond. Even if you don’t catch anything, fishing lets you enjoy nature, teaches patience, and creates summertime memories.
Go to the library. If you haven’t been to your local library lately, you’ll be surprised to learn it has more to offer than books. Most have extensive audio, video, and newspaper collections along with a weekly story time for children, special interest clubs, genealogy rooms, book discussions, and music lectures.
Do Camp out. Go to a local state campground or pitch a tent in the backyard. Make s’mores and watch the stars.
Set up a neighborhood field day with races for running, jumping, cycling, ball throwing and other competitive games. Reward the winners with gold, silver and bronze-colored ribbons.
Rediscover your neighborhood by taking digital photos of anything you find interesting – flowers, sidewalks cracks, lawn ornaments. Take lots of them using different angles and settings. At home see what you’ve captured. Great images make unique greeting cards and artwork.
Clean up your neighborhood. If you’re tired of seeing empty soda cans and papers on the side of the road, this one’s for you. It’s good exercise and beautifies your street. Others may even join in or become more aware of their own littering habits.
Join a book club. Some are informal affairs held at a coffee-house and some are sponsored by the library. A book club gives you the discipline to consciously read and finish a book.
Start a nature collection and keep a journal on your observations. Put on your hiking books and spend time outdoors studying rocks, leaves, trees, or birds. Jot down notes, dates and observations.
Volunteer your time. There’s no shortage of need. A day spent volunteering makes a positive contribution to your community and rejuvenates your spirit.
Play & Make Sign up for community sports. Many towns have community sports for both adults and children. If you enjoy being around the sport, but aren’t much of an athlete, volunteer instead.
Play board games, cards, dominoes. There’s a reason games like Monopoly, Pictionary and Yahtzee have stood the test of time – they’re fun! Crossword puzzles and card games like bridge, pinochle, hearts and spades are intellectually challenging as well.
Hold a craft day. Get supplies from your local dollar store or use what’s in the house – paper plates, cups, popsicle sticks, empty jars, glitter, wrapping paper to make greeting cards and holiday gifts. Find creative ideas online or make it up as you go.
Bake up some cookies, make lemonade and set up a stand. Good for hours of fresh air and for meeting the neighbors you typically only wave to.
Have the kids put on a talent, skit or magic show for the adults. Create a stage with a cardboard or wooden frame and hang a sheet for a curtain. Encourage friendly competition and vote for the best.
Don’t let a tight budget keep you from enjoying all that summer has to offer. By simply taking the time to come up with new ideas or recycling some favorites from your own childhood, you can create memories that will last for many years. Get out and have some fun!
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