Getting a vacation is exciting, and although having time off is thrilling, allowing yourself to mentally check out before leaving the office is not a good idea. If you don't plan ahead of time, you'll be bombarded with phone calls, emails, missed meetings, and queries from coworkers when you return. But before you pack your luggage and prepare all the things you need in your much awaited vacation, you need to plan out your exit strategy before leaving the office. It should be a rejuvenating break from your hectic work schedule. However, if you don't sufficiently prepare for it, you may return even more burdened than when you first left.
Here are 5 tips on how to prepare for your next vacation
Make sure to plan your schedule
Many people grumble about the stress of finishing all of their work before going on vacation, only to be overwhelmed by the stress of catching up when they return. Create a thorough vacation calendar for your team so that everyone is aware of each other's whereabouts and you don't receive several calls inquiring about your whereabouts. Also, be explicit about your availability throughout your absence: Can you be reached in an emergency, or should your employees forget you're gone for two weeks? Are there any moments when you'll be more accessible?
Inform your clients or office workers a week or two before
Before you depart, let them know you'll be gone and ask if there's anything they need. It's an excellent reason to contact them; it shows that you care about them; it provides them enough notice so that you may assist them with any concerns before you go; and it gives you peace of mind. If you work with a client on a regular basis, you should notify them that you will be taking a vacation. It's a good idea to let your clients and customers know that you'll be unavailable for a period of time, just as you did with your colleagues. If they need to take care of things while you're gone, give them the contact information for another colleague so they may obtain help if they need it.
Begin prioritizing your workloads
Make an organized list of your projects and tasks to avoid a large "to do" list when you return. Make a list of the projects you're currently working on and plan how you'll finish them around a week before you depart. Any critical notes, progress updates, and necessary papers should be written down and attached to a shareable form. Your colleagues will be more informed if you are more thorough. Make sure you write down all of the facts regarding your work in case someone else has to finish them while you're gone. Without extremely specific notes and instructions, someone who is unfamiliar with your project may not be able to assist you.
You should also be prepared mentally
Some people find it difficult to completely disengage. If you're one of those people, do everything you can ahead of time to prepare for your time away from work. That could include wrapping up particular projects or meeting with people to double-check that you've covered all of your bases. Do everything you can to get ahead of the game so you don't have to worry about others needing you during your vacation. It's also a good idea to discuss with your supervisor where people should be directed while you're away. This could entail appointing a point person or directing individuals to different employees for certain difficulties.
Enjoy your much anticipated vacation
Your office is unlikely to fall apart just because you're gone for a week, and vacations are necessary—everyone needs time to rest and recharge. You are not truly relaxing if you spend your entire holiday on your laptop or with your phone in your hand. Give yourself permission to unwind. Accept that you deserve the time off—you've worked hard for it—and attempt to put work on hold for as long as you can. It's fine to glance over your email and even respond to critical ones, but keep it to a minimal. You want to return to work after taking some time off. To achieve this, you must first put work aside and make having a good time (or simply relaxing) your top priority.
Employees are more likely to enjoy their vacation and return feeling rejuvenated if they are not forced to think about work while they are away. By completing these basic things, you will be able to relax and enjoy your vacation while also being prepared to hit the ground running when you return. Your vacation will be over before you know it, and you'll be back to work, so don't waste it by connecting to company servers and fielding emails from harried coworkers. Put those loose ends in place so you can relax like a true pro.