It’s summer, we can (sort of) travel again, and for many, it’s just time to take some time off. However, preparing for a vacation is more than working out, drinking water, and eating chicken and veggies. While you want to look your best and enjoy yourself on vacation, you must also ensure that your workload is handled.
I just got married (!!), took a few days off before the big day, and then went on a week-long honeymoon immediately following the wedding. Yes, I did a lot of personal prep before the wedding, but I also did a ton of work prep. I wanted to make sure that I could take time off without feeling anxious, guilty, or like I missed something. I made checklists, tasks, spreadsheets, and more to do that. These pre-vacation tasks allowed me to have the wedding and honeymoon of my dreams, all while having my work scheduled out and allowing me to come back to minimal emails and less than a day’s worth catching up.
So, take a look at my recommendations to stay ahead of your work game so that you can enjoy your vacation.
Before going out of town, whether missing one day or two weeks, it’s crucial to work ahead and ensure that you did everything to get your job done. After all, it’s your job, not your coworker’s. Yes, they will help you out and cover for things that pop up, but it is your responsibility to ensure that everything is done, scheduled, planned, and outlined before you head out of town.
Assign out tasks.
If you need work covered, send an email and assign it out. We use Asana, a task management software system that keeps track of tasks, deadlines, details, and more. So, if you need something covered or checked while you’re gone, assign a task, and you’ll receive an email when your coworker checks off that they have completed it. This gives you peace of mind (even if you’re not actively checking your email).
This is my rule of thumb for literally anything and everything. For example, if you’re going out of town and planning on taking full advantage of that, you must know that everything is scheduled and posted or that you’ve told your coworkers what you need them to do and on what day, with all details. This is crucial in allowing you to enjoy your vacation while ensuring that your job goes as smoothly as if you were in the office.
When you do all of these things and have an excellent team to help cover your work while you’re away, you should be able to enjoy your vacation. A proper work-life balance is crucial in maintaining productivity and creativity at work. After vacation, you may feel sad for a day or two now that you’re no longer lying on the beach, but you should also feel refreshed and ready for new challenges. That’s how it works for me, at least.
So, next time you go on vacation, my recommendation is to go on vacation! Set your out-of-office responder and turn off notifications. When you take the proper precautions ahead of time, you’ll feel more confident in your work and know that you deserve your time off. If something is urgent, your coworker will let you know; otherwise, take the much-needed time off to enjoy and re-energize yourself. Enjoying your time outside of work will lead to better and more efficient work between 9 and 5.
Next time you’re headed out of town, keep these tips and notice as you relax more and come back feeling prepared and ready to work. If this worked for me on my honeymoon, I could assure you that it will do the same for you on your next vacation.