With only a few weeks until Christmas and New Year, there’s likely to be lots to finish up at work before you take some time off before your clients take some time off and before the new year sets in, and it’s time to start again. Sometimes, wrapping up work duties before a break can seem like a momentous task, and it’s easy to understand why. If at your work you need to complete or hand over some tasks, or explain specific projects, then you may feel like you have to do extra work even to take your holidays. This can be even harder to do when others are going on leave, too or when you’re already feeling like you’re in holiday mode and counting the days until you leave. There are some industries as well where this season is the busiest time of year. If you work in one of these then it’s likely you will have had to book your holiday well in advance and it also might mean a bit more pressure on your before you leave. For example, if you work in the food and beverage or hospitality industry, even as a supplier like Central Carolina Scale, then you’re going to be extremely busy down to the very last minute. If this sounds like you, then here are a few tips to help you wrap up everything you need to do at work before you switch off that screen or clock out.
Find the perfect location
One of the best ways to power through your to-do list is to take yourself off somewhere and find the place that works for you most. Do you need to book a meeting room to yourself all day so that you’re not distracted or disturbed by anyone and can focus entirely on what you need to do? You might find you also work faster and smarter this way too. Perhaps working from home be more beneficial? Whatever you think will help you to power through what you have to do, make sure you plan the week or so before your holiday to be wherever it is you need to be to get everything done.
Prioritize and Delegate
It’s highly likely that you won’t be able to get everything done before you go, and the sooner you realize and accept that, the better. Take the time in the days leading up to your break to decide what you can get done and what you can leave until you get back. Once you’ve worked that out, then you can delegate the tasks that you can, which will help you to clear the decks before you head off. If you’re leaving some things until you get back, make sure you make a list and leave it at the top of your drawer or on your desk for when you get back so that you don’t forget.
Leave A Handover
As mentioned, you’re not going to get everything done, and depending on how long you’ll be gone for, there will be some jobs that other people will need to handle for you while you’re away.
There will also be unforeseen queries that might come in while you’re away that only you can answer, so try and leave as much information as you can about where you are up to with things, what is going on with certain clients, and where you are with projects. Think ahead about what potential issues may arise and what tasks someone else might have to follow up with while you’re gone. You won’t be able to think of everything, but if you spend a little extra time on your handover, you’re likely to cover most of it.
Once all the work is out of the way, you need to do a few other little pre-holiday tasks to wrap up your work before you go off officially. It’s things like setting up your out-of-office email and making sure you haven’t left emails unanswered before you go away. Even if you don’t have an answer, let people know you’ll be away, and you’ll get back to them when you’re back. Do remember as well that other people – clients and customers will be away too, so find out who is, and when they’ll be back. That way you’ll know who to prioritise and who is likely to be in touch while you’re away.
This is probably the most critical point for you to take on board: don’t obsess about getting absolutely everything done before you go on holiday. While it’s good to tie up loose ends, be careful not to turn your relaxation time into recuperation time from some extremely stressful pre-holiday weeks. It’s also very important not to stress and obsess about it while you’re away. You need to be able to switch off and enjoy your holiday; otherwise, there’s no point in having it. Try to avoid looking at work-related emails and make sure whatever you’re doing that you’re present. Really focus on the people you’re with, be fully in the moment, and enjoy the fact that you don’t need to be juggling work commitments and time with your loved ones.
Plan To Relax
It might sound like a weird thing to plan, but certainly over the festive period when it’s so hectic, you might have actually to plan and schedule some time to relax. Whether that’s going to see a movie, doing nothing, sleeping, reading, going for a walk or going to a yoga class – whatever works for you, make sure you get some time to do it. The worst thing when you take a break is to come back to work needing another holiday straight away, so make the most of your time off, you deserve it.