Depending on your responsibilities and workload, taking time off for vacation can, at times, seem downright impossible. Yet it’s important to take a break, recharge your batteries and return to your desk refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
Whether you’re preparing for a quick jaunt to a nearby city or a full-fledged retreat on the other side of the globe, it’s important to prepare for being out of the office. A bit of extra planning and a generous dose of organization go a long way in giving you peace of mind that tasks will be handled in your absence — and that you aren’t leaving loose ends that will give you a mid-vacation panic.
5 Tips to Prepare for Vacation
Make a checklist
Lists are an organized employee’s best friend! Make a list of what needs to be finished before your time off. This may include delegating tasks to others, notifying people of your planned absence, or completing top-priority work. Making a list will help you keep track of what you need to finish before you leave.
Don’t wait until the week before your vacation to make arrangements for your absence, no matter how short your time off may be. Start planning 3-4 weeks beforehand to make sure all of your priorities are accounted for. This includes deciding what needs to get done before you leave the office and what can wait until you get back. The best part about planning? You’ll have plenty of time to get some extra work done to prevent the dreaded post-vacation overload.
Keep reasonable goals
Taking a few days away from the office shouldn’t mean you have to pull twice your normal hours the week before. You’re not a machine, and you certainly shouldn’t max out your stress levels pre-vacation. If you need help prioritizing and delegating, don’t hesitate to speak to your manager or supervisor.
Notify the right people
Make sure that colleagues and managers are fully aware of the dates of your absence since they may need to pull some extra weight during that time. Give notice of your vacation well in advance so proper accommodations can be made. A quick email may not suffice; a phone call could be better at getting their attention. Also, designate someone to contact you in the case of a work-related emergency.
Don’t lose the vacation state of mind
Want to get a bit of extra mileage out of your vacation? Set the return date on your voicemail and out-of-office email messages for a day or two after you come back. Most of us agree that one of the most overwhelming aspects of coming back from a vacation is having to sift through piles of email messages and voicemails. This will help you focus on more pressing matters around the office and give you a couple of extra days to catch up.
Sure, planning for time away from the office takes some extra work, but it’s worth the planning and preparation. Set your goals and organize your time wisely, and you’ll be one step closer to a relaxation!
What tips do you use to help plan for out-of-office time?