It’s fall break time and lots of ExactHire employees have vacation plans over the next two weeks. It’s hard to avoid slipping into vacation mode a little early, knowing that the beach is calling my name. Having flexible work time allows some extra time to prep for travel, but I am also reminded of the extra work that will be waiting for me upon my return. How do you avoid a slump in productivity before vacation, a heap of work after vacation, or–most importantly–bringing work with you on “workation”?
Work Hard Before….
This is the philosophy I am trying to use this time around, and it seems to be working so far. T-minus 2 days ‘til I leave for the Caribbean, but I still have lots I want to get done. I am hoping that my Inbox will be nearly empty before leave, and I am working to get all invoices and bills entered ahead of time. The more I can do now, the less I have to do when I get back–no one wants to play catch up! I also know my personality and that I can better relax on vacation, knowing that all my work is taken care of. I know there will still be a stack of items to work through upon my return, but tying up loose ends before I go means that the stack won’t be nearly as tall or time-sensitive.
Ahhh, but there are times when it is so nice to just start coasting into vacation! It’s easy to get excited about travel plans, the fun things you’ll do, the gorgeous blue waters, the hot sunshine…(I’m a beach bum, but born in the wrong state! Can you tell!?) Anyways, with this approach you might know that you have items to finish upon your return, but if none of those items are time-sensitive, they won’t worry you while you’re away. In this way, you enter vacation calm and relaxed–not burnt out. Some might also refer to the HUGE amount of work waiting for you as “job security”. Just be careful that the HUGE amount of work won’t lead to a stressful first week back–that could very well negate the positive effects of your vacation.
Considerations For Both Approaches
- List tasks for the week before vacation, during vacation, and the week after vacation.
- Prioritize based first on due-date, then on importance.
- Which tasks can be done by another member of your team while you are gone?
- How difficult are these tasks?
- If complicated, can you complete those tasks before you leave?
Of course, your organization’s work culture will also determine which of these approaches you take. How your team covers duties while employees are out may influence how much you take on or put off. Make sure to communicate with your colleagues so that even if your “vacation approach” is different, the organization and customer service are not negatively affected.