Business Optimizer takes a look at the essential work management checklist for what you need to do before you leave the office to ensure you can enjoy your vacation without interruption or everything falling apart without you.
Travel stress or work-related problems can eat into your vacation and leave you feeling more frazzled than when you left. It also turns your “after-break” a terrible and messy go back to work.
Take the time to plan your trip well and follow this checklist so that your vacation goes as smoothly as possible.
If you need to request time off from a superior, giving as much notice as possible makes it more likely your request will be accepted. But all colleagues also need to about your plans in advance so they can adapt their own work schedules accordingly.
Contact high-priority customers at least a fortnight before to let them know you’ll be away. Explain who they can contact in your absence and ask them if there is anything they need before you leave.
For everyone else, make sure you create (and activate) a customized “out of office” email reply and outgoing voicemail.
You don’t want to bookend your vacation with stressful periods of catching up, so make sure you create enough slack in your schedule to keep stress to a minimum.
Start prioritizing your workload early and delegate what you can to the best people.
Decide – with your family as much as your colleagues – what support it is necessary for you to offer and how available you need to be (and are willing to be).
Is it possible to be totally unreachable and enjoy a complete digital detox? Communicate your decision to everyone involved to ensure you aren’t disturbed outside these rules.
Look ahead to see what is pending in your schedule. This way, you can make the files and contact details that are likely to be requested by clients or colleagues easily available to those who need them.
Clean your desk (and the fridge and your computer files) before you go, so everything is in good order when you return – it’s never great to go back to a mess. Take the time to write a “to do” list ready for your return, so it is easy for you to slip back into work.
Since you started prepping and getting organized first, you can afford to finish the day soon before you leave. This way you can eliminate that last-minute panic and working late, which is never a great start to a vacation.
With all this preparation undertaken, you can honestly switch off while your away – maximizing all those feel-good functions of your holiday – and keeping your family happy.