How to: Organize Your Work Before Holiday Season
Holidays are great. Work? Perhaps not so much. There are only so many days in a year when you can allow yourself to forget there are such things as emails and colleagues, and they’re closing in really fast. These tips will help you organize everything beforehand and have that rest you’ve been craving for:
Make a list
Even before you’ve switched into holiday mode, create a back-to-work to-do list. This way, you won’t have to think about balancing budgets and looming lists while sipping on hot chocolate.
Sure, you’d like to finish that big report before the holidays, but if it’s not due until two weeks after you get back to work, it can wait. Focus on more urgent deadlines first.
Do double duty.
If you’re swamped with work, try to put in a couple of extra hours here and there before you leave. All that added time will help you tie up loose ends, and you’ll thank yourself when you return from vacation to a lighter workload.
Create a list of contact names and numbers your colleagues might need while you’re away. Be sure to stress that your emergency contact is just that — to be used in an emergency.
If there’s someone covering for you, provide helpful hints to them about the people or projects they’ll be handling. For example, “Amanda is one hell of a client, try not to lose your temper with her.”
Set an alert.
Change your voicemail and email to let clients and colleagues know you won’t be available. Be sure to include contact info for someone they can call or email in your absence.
There’s nothing more depressing than returning from holidays to see a desk flooded with papers. Leave your area neat and tidy before heading out.
Resist the urge to overload your first day back at work with back-to-back meetings and conference calls. Schedule a quick 15-minute chat with your cover person to catch up on what you will have missed. Then ease back in as you readjust to your work groove.