Who doesn’t love taking a vacation or coming back from holiday that cause the entire office to be closed, this girl loves it! You want to know why? Ok, here it goes. Holidays, vacations, or even bae-cations is something all of work for and look forward to. You normally get a chance to get some shut eye, which is some well needed RR. But how do you properly plan for your return back to the office or prepare the office for you leaving, or when the office is closed?
Quick tip: The week before is the most essential part to you properly planning for your time off or a planned office closure, like Thanksgiving. So below I am providing you with some tips on how to be proactive and not have to worry about coming back to the office, with deadlines not met, email inbox full of request that weren’t met prior to leaving, and those that depended on you to do your part in the project giving you side eye. Take a look:
1. Wiggle Room: As one of my bosses would say make sure you schedule yourself some ‘buffer” room. Try not to put an unrealistic deadline on yourself, give yourself enough wiggle room, to 1. Exceed the expectation, possibly, by getting it in early. 2. Time to advise and ask for an extension if needed, because you allowed yourself that wiggle room.
***Here is another tip don’t make empty promises, because then you over extend yourself. That way when you do meet or exceed the expectation you over deliver. ***
2. Gameplan Meeting: Call a meeting that include all parties involved with what you do. Advise them that you will be out and the deadline you will meet. The deadlines that may need to be extended, or will handle that portion of the project in your absence. Create a game plan and let the team know where you are prior to leaving. During this meeting, be sure to cover vital ways to communicate if things go array, or if any questions need to be answered in your absence. A questions and answers period may be needed in this meeting in order to debunk any statements that did not come directly from you- so things can run smoothly in your absence.
3. Set-up Your Auto-Reply: This may sound small, but this helps in so many ways. Not having this auto-reply set up can cause you to risk someone being upset, deadlines being missed, and someone left thinking they will get response soon, but to no avail. Be sure to set up the auto-reply along with to whom they should reach out to while you are out.
4. Calendar: Be sure to look ahead on your calendar. That way you can anticipate and forecast the needs of those you are serving, clients and colleagues are included. See if there is a way to work ahead that way getting some key deadlines out of the way and clear your calendar for when you return, as well as, clearing your head while you’re on vacation or holiday.
5. Make a Checklist: This checklist will give you more peace of mind than others. This tool will assist you in actually enjoying your time off, because you have marked off priority issues to make the priority deadline. And those that you were unable to meet they were delegated out, or you gave specific information on how to handle this issue should they be approached with it.
6. Trust the Team: If you empower someone on the team to do something, do not! I repeat do not! Make them feel as though you don’t trust them. It may cause dissention, and you don’t want to create that type of environment. And if you’re in a leadership position this is the perfect time to practice delegation and trust. This will also show how self-sufficient you have made your team.
Be prepared to have a good time on your vacation/holiday. We all need it! And the best way to enjoy is to have properly planned out the time you will be out, so things run as smooth as possible. Sure there will be hiccups, but you will have advise those that you have delegated to how to work through the hiccups. Relax, relate, and release should be at the top of the list because you knew what PROJECTS needed to be handled while you were out. In order to PURPOSEfully plan for your PASSION!