How to Leave Your Work at Work When You Go On Vacation

vacationAs much as we look forward to our vacations sometimes they can be stressful.  Not the vacation itself, but the week before and then the dreaded return from your well-deserved vacation.  The workload always seems to pick up the week before you leave.  Whether it’s a new project, an increase in normal day-to-day tasks or just the small fires that need to be put out, stress tends to build up knowing your vacation is coming but there is all this work to do!

The point of a vacation is to reboot, relax, regroup – whichever term you like best, but that is what vacations are there for.   With the stress of work in the back of your mind it can be tough to actually unwind and enjoy your time off.  I struggled with this for a while. Many of my vacations were within the U.S., so I was able to check/respond to emails on my phone and never really shut off from work.  Then I went overseas and there was no way I would be able to check email so I had to make some changes to my normal prep before I left.  Here are a couple tricks I learned and use now to help you prepare for that well deserved vacation!

– Know who will be covering for you.

– Tie up any loose ends before you leave (if possible).  Try to close up any pending projects before you go away and you will have less to worry about!

– If you’re going away for a week, start updating 2 weeks before.  Whoever will be covering for you, keep them in the loop for the two weeks prior so when you send them a written update they will already be familiar.

– Remind your coworkers you are going away!  I start about 2 weeks before so if they are trying to schedule meetings they can expect me not to be there.

– Stay late if need be to get more done.  Again, things will pop up that are out of our control and staying an extra hour (or two) to stay organized and finish up will help ease your mind during your vacation.

Remember, these are vacations.  Try to leave work at work, shut off your email on your phone (or phone entirely) and enjoy your time off.  Again, you deserve it!

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