Five Simple Tips For A Stress-Free Holiday
In a few weeks or maybe even days, many of you will be heading off for a summer break.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed In the time leading up to a break as you try to clear your workload, manage multiple projects and head off with a clear desk and your handover completed.
Avoid the stress of last minute panic, working long hours and general chaos in the last few days by following these five tips.
Plan ahead – What needs to be done over the next few weeks and when are you going to do it? Plan 2 to 3 weeks before your holiday so you have to time to organise your workload and schedule accordingly.
Keep the week or 2-3 days before your last day in the office as free as possible. Avoid overbooking your diary with too many meetings in this week. You may not have enough time for all the follow-ups and actions needed or expected before you leave and you’ll end up with even more to handover.
Prioritise – the ‘important’ things you need to work on before you leave. Don’t leave them to the last day or your last few hours. If you’re pushed for time, what are the priority tasks you need to complete to keep things moving while you’re away? What can wait until you get back and is there anything that’s likely to slip through?
Set time limits on tasks. You’ll get things done quicker and be less distracted, especially if you only have a limited amount of time available.
Delegate – What’s going to happen to your business or workload while you’re away? Who’s going to answer calls, respond to emails, look after your clients, customers and projects? If you need extra resources, ask in good time.
Remember to switch on your voicemail and/or ‘out of office’ message (and switch it off when you return – make a note in your diary).
Handover – Set up a handover meeting(s) with your team or direct reports a day or two before your last day in the office.
If you have the right systems and processes in place it will be easy to provide status updates and keep track of projects and expected actions while you’re away.
Communicate – Let your team, customers and clients know when you’re going to be away and for how long. Give them and yourself plenty of time if you’re expecting work from them or need to get information, updates to them before you go.
And finally …
You holiday is meant to be a break from work – unless you’ve specifically booked it as a working holiday and your family or friends are in agreement, avoid the temptation to work while you’re away. While a cursory check of emails may be needed or you might be contacted in an emergency – focus on your family and friends first.
If you find you often spend the first few days of your holiday feeling unwell, exhausted or ill, you way be suffering from adrenal rebound. It will take you longer to relax, unwind and enjoy your holiday.
If you’re in the habit of spending much of your intended ‘holiday’ working, it’s an indication that something’s missing or needs to change. You need to look more seriously at your time habits, your boundaries and priorities.
On your return:
• Don’t overload your first few days back at work.
• Allow time for planning and catch-up on your first day back.
• Book handover/update meetings with your team.
If you want to enjoy a stress-free holiday and be more in control of your workload but don’t know where to start – give me a call or book a time for us to chat and make your next holiday even more relaxed and stress-free.