In order to keep your batteries charged, and your mind in a good place, you’re going to need to take a break from time to time. It’s hard to pull away – especially when you’re in a competitive, engaging or hectic career – but you’ve got to try and do it when you can. It’s been shown that you are more productive and healthy when you take a regular vacation.
Having an annual leave will give you exactly the time you need to spend with your family, friends or loved ones – whether it’s out on the beach, camping in the woods, or exploring a new city. Just take time to catch your breath and recharge your batteries for when you get back to reality and back to the deadlines and hectic pace.
But before you head out the door for your annual leave, there are some things you need to do to prepare that will benefit not only yourself but your colleagues as well.
Figure out who will cover for you
If you are smack dab in the middle of a project, or actively working with a client on a deadline, then you need to be sure that there’s some transition there and that your leave doesn’t cause a huge fuss in the workplace. Trying to find a colleague or project partner that is suited to what you are currently working on, that will be able to fill that role, is essential.
Finish what you started
Are you about to finish up a couple of final touches on a project? Working on the last few pages of a report? If you have outstanding projects you can realistically finish before taking your annual leave, then do so. It makes your absence a lot more manageable for your colleagues, and you can also relax easier, knowing there’s not a huge pile of working waiting for you on your desk for when you get back.
Determine what can wait
While you should make an effort to finish all of your work before you leave, sometimes that’s just not plausible. If you’re working on a long term project or deliverable, then it really may not be necessary to finish it up before your annual leave. Make sure that whatever work you do delegate can be managed, and if something can wait – then let it.
Prep your team or colleagues
If there’s a big presentation or event coming up that you’re going to miss, then you need to brief your teammates or colleagues and make sure that they are prepared and aware. Always try your best to anticipate things that may come up, so that no one is blindsided when you are going to be out of town, or you’ll end up with a string of panicked phone calls.
You need to communicate
You’d be surprised how many workers will just take off on leave, and then don’t give their colleagues the details. So when something needs to be done and they go to you for your piece, it clogs up the work pipeline. You have to ensure that everyone in the office knows you’re going on leave, when you will be back and what the plan is for while you’re gone, as well as how they can reach you.
Talk with your clients
Nothing is more frustrating for a client than trying to reach out to the company they’re getting services from, only to find that their go-to contact is out of town. If you are planning to be out of town, as a courtesy you should contact your clients and let them know when you’re going to be gone – and for how long. Another nice touch is setting up an email auto response that states that you’re out of town, when you will be back, and who the appropriate contact is in your absence. This shows the clients you’re committed to them and that you care.
Be prepared for when you get back
After a long trip or absence, it’s completely natural to want to be relaxed. But it’s important that when you get back from your leave that you are fully ready to get back to work. You’re probably going to have at least a little backlog at work from when you were away, so having that commitment and focus to clear through that work and get everything back on track is going to be important for you. This is especially important if you’re in management or a higher level employee that has people working underneath you that rely on you in your workplace.
If you are looking for more ideas on what you can do to prepare for annual leave, then you can refer other incredible sources for annual leave preparation.
So go out and make sure that you have a blast on your annual leave, but also be a responsible employee and make sure that everything will go as smoothly as possible during your absence. This helps you to stand out as a good employee – and a good colleague – and you will be able to breathe easy knowing that a lot of these things are handled while you’re on your trip.