The holidays are almost here. Are you wondering how to plan your vacation without stress? Here are a few tips to help you go worry-free.
Plan your vacation in advance
Stress-proofing: planning. Plan your vacation several months ahead. Try to work around the start-up or closing phases of large projects as much as possible. If you must take your vacation during the rush (school holidays), be sure to let your coworkers know well in advance and enter your absences in your company’s time-management system .
Notify your clients
As well as your coworkers, let your clients and other key people know when you’ll be leaving and when you’ll be back. Do it a few days/weeks ahead so you can handle urgent questions or requests. Give them the contact info for a coworker who’s in charge of the project in your absence.
Hand it over to coworkers
Make sure they can answer your clients’ urgent questions. To ensure you have backup in your absence, choose people you trust and delegate tasks so that you’re not leaving it all with one coworker. Give them all useful information: brief them on the project and its progress; give them the customer contact information; tell them where all relevant records and files are.
Free up some time
Allow yourself two days before going on vacation to tie up loose ends: no appointments, no meetings, no new projects. Take this time to list priorities. Ask yourself which tasks can’t wait for your return.
Record a vacation greeting
Set up your e-mail inbox with an automatic response. Include the dates you’ll be away and the contact information of the person who can cover in an emergency.
Do you have a work cell phone? Record a voice greeting with the same information.
Tidy your office
If you put everything where it belongs, you’ll be happier when you come back after your vacation. Throw out any useless papers. Organize your files. Gather up your pens, pencils and highlighters. Got an indoor plant? Water it or give it to someone you trust.
Ease back into things
Set aside a day (or two) to get back into the swing of things when you return. Don’t set up any meetings. You’ll need to gradually get to grips with your workload again: read your e-mails and find out where your projects stand.
Now you’re ready to get the most from your vacation. And don’t forget the last step: switch off. It’s the best way to come back to the office refreshed.
Happy holidays to you all. Best wishes for 2015!