Getting ready to leave for a vacation, and coming back to work after vacation are usually very stressful. Sometimes you feel like you need a vacation after your vacation just to catch up. In this episode, we cover some tips for how to productively manage the time leading up to your vacation and the day you return from vacation.
The process starts 2 weeks before your schedule vacation:
1. Add an out of office notification to your signature. This is going to alert people to the fact that you are going to be out. It will nudge them to take action on something that they might need before you leave.
2. Review your calendar for the time you are away. Make a list of any deliverables that you need to prepare during your absence.
3. Block time on your calendar over the next 2 weeks to prepare everything on your list. For example, if you have a meeting where you are responsible for preparing and presenting a slide, you would block time on your calendar to both prepare the slide and make arrangements for someone else to present the slide at the meeting. Learn more about Time Blocking from Episode 10.
4. Block an Inservice Day, or half day for the day before you leave and the day your return. An inservice day is when you block your calendar as if you are out of the office, but you are actually working. It gives you the time and space you need to catch up because people think you are still out.
5. If you have the type of job where someone will be covering for you while you are out of office, block time on the calendar for a meeting with them to manage the transition. You should block time for before you leave and when you return.
One week before you leave, you will start to:
1. Say no to any new request that comes your way – don’t take on more work when you know you have a hard stop in advance of your vacation.
2. Be extra diligent about your priorities. You are going to go into hyper-vigilant mode. If it isn’t absolutely necessary, it can wait.
Some other tips:
This is the 6th and final episode in a series on productivity. Go to episode 1.
Do you let email drag you through your day? If you start your day by opening email, then the answer is likely YES! Letting email drag you through your day means that you are prioritizing those emails over all your other work. Everything on your to-do list. Everything on your project list. Everything on your someday maybe list. Is email that important? Unless your job description is to reply to emails (maybe you are a support person and tickets come in through email), then the answer is NO. You have made the choice to make email a priority. I know it sounds harsh, but that’s my job here – to be honest with you.
In order to be as productive as you can be, you need to approach email as you would any other input into your to do list. Set aside time each day to go through your email and process it. By process it, I mean, give it a category and take the appropriate action based on your system. As a reminder, the categories are:
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