Annual Leave? Tips to help you prepare
As summer rolls around, there is no doubt you have began to think about that well-earned break you wish to take. Sometimes, the weeks in advance of your leave can be more stressful than usual as you prepare to leave you workload behind and set your out-of-office reply.
How can you reduce the stress?
We’ve compiled a list of five tips below that should help create a stress-free prelude to your annual leave.
MAKE SURE YOUR TO-DO LIST IS COMPLETE
The number one action that needs to be accomplished prior to going on annual leave is completing your to-do list. Anything outstanding that you can work on in advance of your departure will put you in the best position to minimise stress before you leave! Prioritising the tasks you must do, that need to be finished prior to your departure will help to focus your mind and attention.
It’s also worth leaving some time free as inevitably, there will be unexpected tasks that present themselves when you least expect it!
Delaying less time-critical tasks and delegating them to other members of your team will too ensure the countdown to your annual leave is successful and stress free.
PREPARE A COMPREHENSIVE HANDOVER
Further to delegating the less-critical tasks to colleagues, ensuring a comprehensive handover is prepared will also help you to feel more relaxed about your upcoming leave. Not only that, but it should also help to alleviate the risk of your colleagues being stuck with a difficult situation whilst you’re away.
Make sure you dedicate plenty of time to preparing your handover, as inevitably there will be things you forget about initially that you will want to add in later.
INFORM YOUR BUSINESS CONTACTS
Once you’ve completed your handover and allocated resource to all of your outstanding tasks; it’s time to inform your business contacts. Depending on the nature of your work, you may only have a few individuals to notify or you may have a very long list. It would be beneficial to introduce your colleagues to the accounts they are covering; mitigating the risk of any confusion whilst you’re away. A week of notice should be sufficient in most circumstances, with a reminder the day prior to your leave beginning – however you know your organisation best.
ENSURE YOU CAN HIT THE GROUND RUNNING
Despite the fact you haven’t left yet, there will come a time that you have to return to work. Whilst you’re preparing to leave your desk behind, it is also worth considering what will need to be done when you get back. The ‘post-annual-leave-haze’ is a very real thing, and whilst getting back into the swing of things, the more responsibilities you can have prepared in advance the better.
Create a list of the first 5-10 things you will need to do when you get back. Working through the list, how many of them can you begin to prepare for now? Unavoidably, there will be things that happen whilst you’re away that you will need to deal with that cannot be accounted for. On the whole, you should be able to automate some actions with minimal effort on your return. This will help you get back into the correct mind-set, bring you back up to speed and allow you to focus on the tasks you had not predicted.
Knowing that your first few hours of your return to work are taken care of really helps to de-stress the build up to annual leave.
TIDY YOUR WORK SPACE
Decluttering is an amazing stress-reliever. Taking some time prior to your break to organise your desk; getting rid of unnecessary paperwork, reorganising folders and simply returning things to their rightful place are all vital prior to going on leave. There is nothing worse than coming back to a cluttered, messy desk after a break. Particularly when you’re ready to get stuck in to actioning your outstanding workload.
Are there any go-to actions you always abide by when preparing for annual leave? Let us know at [email protected]!