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How to make your time off during the year-end period go smoothly

With Christmas and New Year coming up, many of us have scheduled to take time off or leave from work to spend time with family and friends. However, to completely unplug and not think about work can be challenging; it will be difficult for you to have a relaxing holiday. You’ll want to be able to switch off and go on your holiday with a peace of mind. After all, it’s important for you to get proper rest from work and come back rejuvenated, ready to tackle challenges in the new year. So how can you go about doing this? Read on for some tips on how you can make your time off during the year-end period go smoothly.

1. Complete all high-priority tasks

You’ll want to sort out all of your work and complete high-priority tasks before you leave. Don’t leave things hanging or wait until you get back from your time off. By completing the urgent tasks, you’ll reduce the chances of someone interrupting you during your break to follow up on something or having to work on the task while on your holiday.

For the tasks that you’re not able to complete, draw up a summary of your progress and your plan on how and when you will complete the task after your break. You should also communicate this with your manager and team before you leave so that they are aware and can help out when you are not around.

2. Set your out-of-office reply

It’s something simple to tick off your to-do list but don’t underestimate its importance! Make it simple for people who may try to get in contact with you when you are away. A good out-of-office message consists of the dates when you will be unavailable. If you can't be reached in urgent situations, make sure to add the contact details of the person who will be able to assist while you are not around. Additionally, if you’re working on various projects or accounts, it might be helpful to add in the information on the specific people who will be covering them in your absence.

3. Clear your schedule for your first day back

In order to be prepared for your holiday, you also need to be prepared for when you return to work. Ensure that you clear your schedule for your first day back so that you can address projects and tasks that require your prompt attention when you get back. By clearing your schedule, you can also avoid any unnecessary stress as you catch up on things that happened when you were on leave. There will be emails for you to read, you will have to meet up with your manager and also get updates from people who covered for you.

4. Make it known that you will be on leave

Inform your colleagues and other stakeholders (i.e. customers, clients) that you will be taking time from work. It’s important that you set proper expectations with them about contacting you when you are on leave. If you plan to fully unplug and won’t be contactable, let them know early so that they can ask you to work on whatever is absolutely necessary prior to you going on leave. This way, it will also be less likely that you receive urgent requests just as you’re leaving.

5. Clean up your desk

Get ahead of the post-holiday slump by preparing your desk for when you return. A clean and organised desk can help to reduce stress levels, increase productivity and allow you to have a clear mind. You wouldn’t want to come back to a cluttered desk, right? You might also uncover work that requires your attention when cleaning your desk. It’s a win-win!

By following these tips, you’ll be able to put yourself in the best mental state before going on holiday. If you’re calm, happy and not worrying about work, you’ll be more likely to have a better holiday and reap the benefits from your time off. You’ve worked hard throughout the year, it’s time for you to enjoy that well-deserved break and come back refreshed in 2020!

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