Preparing for and Returning from Vacation

productivity vacation Jan 10, 2022
Preparing for and Returning from Vacation

Preparing for and returning from vacation or holiday is essential for your productivity and your mental health.

You can control the amount of stress you experience if you are proactive as you prepare for and return from vacation.

BEFORE YOU LEAVE

As soon as you know you're going away on vacation, add this to your calendar.

Then, begin to think about the tasks you do and who you can delegate them. The chances are that you won't find a clone of yourself (wouldn't that be nice?), but get someone whom you trust to back you up.

If you're a solopreneur, you have a couple of options: 1) hire a trusted friend or a VA, or 2) inform your clients that you'll be on vacation and will not be working or replying to emails texts, or phone calls for the duration.

Begin to alert people who need to know. This probably doesn't mean you send a company-wide email saying, "I'm going to be out of town from this date to this date." This means to let the relevant people know. This may be a few people or a whole department, but only let the appropriate people know.

And don't forget the meeting planners. If you attend a weekly meeting where you're always invited to and asked to speak at, let that meeting planner know, "Hey, I'm going to be out of town." This way, they won't send you emails, reminders, and the agenda.

Create an out-of-office reminder, both for your email and for your voicemail.

Make sure that whoever you choose as your backup can do what you need them to do. Please don't assume they know what they're doing.

THE DAY YOU LEAVE

Make sure you leave with a clear desk and work area—Check in with your backup. Ask them if they have any questions or if there's anything they're not clear on. Give this person your contact information should they need to get a hold of you in an emergency. Don't forget to be very clear about what an emergency is to you.

Turn on your out-of-office reply for voicemail and email.

Then leave not only physically but mentally as well. Leave your job behind, go on vacation, have a great time.

RETURNING FROM VACATION

When you come back, be well-rested. In other words, don't come back into town at two o'clock in the morning on a Sunday and then show up at work on Monday early. I suggest you arrive back in town a day or two early. If you come in on Sunday, consider taking Monday off, extending your vacation. It's important to be well-rested.

Also, you want to be in the right frame of mind when you return to work because you don't know what you're going to see. Will it be chaos? Or will it be ordered? Hope for the best, expect the worst. Yes, expect utter chaos. If you come back to work and everything is orderly, there is no chaos, celebrate!  But if you come back hoping for the best and it turns out to be the worst-case scenario, it's going to hit you like a ton of bricks!

Finally, please don't overdo it when you return to the office. If you usually work eight to five, don't come in at five and leave at midnight. I know it's tempting but ease back into the work situation.

You need to take a vacation. Vacations can rejuvenate you, and they can re-energize you. They can keep you excited about life. So prepare for them.

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