Summer is just around the corner (hopefully!), and our thoughts begin to drift off to warmer climates, drinks around the pool and time away from the workplace.
But first you have to get through the piles of paperwork on your desk, emails in your inbox and the dozens of post it notes you have stuck on your computer screen. The stress and struggle of doing all this can make you think ‘Is it even worthwhile going away?’.
The answer is ‘Yes’ and it is important that you do, not just to unwind the mind but to also release some stress from the body. As we enter into the holiday period, our blog this week gives you 5 suggestions on how to successfully manage your workload in the holiday season.
Act now so panic doesn’t set in
Unless you booked a last minute deal, you will have known well in advance when you are going away. Use this time to plan and put into place measures that will help with the workflow during the holiday season. If you don’t plan ahead you could find yourself getting into a blind panic and making hasty decisions.
Communicate with others
If you work in a team everybody should be aware when people are away. If you don’t have a company / team calendar it is a good idea to create one. It lets people see when members of the team are away and lets them know that they might be needed to other peoples workload. Thrusting tasks upon them at the last minute is not far to them and could lead to their own work suffering .
If you work for yourself, make your clients aware of the dates that you will be away. Tell them what you can achieve before you go. Don’t be afraid to be honest with them about this; don’t promise things you know you can’t deliver on.
Turn on your ‘out of office’ notification and add a message about how the email will be dealt with. You may not be able to help them there and then but you can manage their expectations.
Decide what the top tasks are
Like most of us you probably have 20 things that needed completing like yesterday. In reality it may not be the case but it certainly feels like it. Take 5 minutes to properly look through your worklist and arrange it based on: what needs doing before the holiday, what can be done by others (if possible) and what can wait for when you get back. Then, focus on the ‘what needs doing before I go away’ list.
Block out distractions
When we feel stressed we find it easy to go into ‘flight mode’ and shy away from the things that are making us feel this way. Use the thought of the holiday as a tool to focus your mind on what needs doing and block out distracting thoughts and people!.
Remember Arnie’s saying “I’ll be back”
In 1 or 2 weeks’ time you will be back to work (unless you have won the lottery and are going on a lifelong holiday) and can pick up on anything that wasn’t urgent or you didn’t get time to finish before you went.
As a final thought, consider putting together a plan for how you are going to get through the first day back at work. Think about setting aside blocks of time to go through your emails and phone messages and catch up with colleagues or clients.