Before being out of office, even if it’s just one or two days, when there are open client projects and deliverables, ensure teammates know where each piece of the deliverable stands in case the client reaches out for an update. Employees should make it as easy as possible for someone to take on their responsibilities while away and not dump new work on their plates. It’s also important to let the client know that you will be out and with the contact information of who they should be in touch with. It shows that you are considering their business and ensuring it’s still being prioritized in your absence. It’s an extra touch point, and it’s a nice when the first they learn of you being away isn’t from an automated OOO message. In the message to a client, also include any necessary project updates.
Create your week-back schedule:
Before jetting off, create a detailed schedule or task list for the day and week you return. Organize it by day and each task should be bulleted by priority under each day. Don’t leave out details and think you can rely on memory. After a few days away, things will most likely be forgotten and rather than sifting through an inbox full of emails, hit the ground running by including all necessary details in your schedule. This could include who to email and what, links embedded for what needs to be reviewed, or an email address and time stamp for an email that needs a response. The more detail the better.
Sifting through emails and removing spam is a mindless task that can make return even easier, and if there is an open client project that needs to be checked in on, budget out specific time for it – even if it’s 5 minutes just to ensure a project is moving along.
Also schedule time to touch base with whomever may have covered certain tasks for you while you were away to make sure everything went smoothly. Following up can help ensure nothing important was missed.
Use this time off to recharge your batteries, whether it’s listening to podcasts, reading, meeting new people, or mediating, as just some examples. Disconnecting for even a day or two to focus on yourself and recharging can help you return to work post-vacation with more energy and focus than before.
While relaxing, consider learning something new or trying out a new hobby. Cross-training your mind can actually help you perform better in your day-to-day tasks when you return back to work.
Whether it’s a long weekend or an extended vacation, preparing ahead of time can help you to not skip a beat.
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