- Create a list of running projects before leaving to work
Being away from the office for long has a way of getting a person in a holiday mood and out of daily activities. However, with a list of currently running projects, you will have a reference point of where to start. Keep in mind that your list should include all projects that you are working on and its corresponding status. It does not matter if you are waiting for feedback, a draft proposal, a client response, or a deadline report; everything should be on your list.
It is wise to also have a priority list for all projects you plan to tackle the first thing. As you are jotting the list, do not forget that priorities change quickly at work. However, having this list will give you a better idea of what matters. Charles Hunter Associates discuss the changing landscape of work post Covid.
This is a great opportunity to scrub some of Your-To-Do-list by being honest with yourself. Move lagging tasks and be honest with agendas that are more than 6 months or lacked time to address them. With such tasks, you can delegate them or simply delete them.
- Delegate things or projects that cannot wait
Of course, there are those things that cannot wait for your return. Good examples include client-based cases, report delivery, or observing deadlines. Therefore, if you are unable to meet these demands, it is wise to delegate them to others and ensure you have covered or mentioned the person responsible for handling any particular job. As you do this, ensure they fully know the details of the job, information, and efficiency or know-how. It is also wise to inform your boss, who is responsible for each task, to make it formal.
- Set up an out-of-the-office voicemail and email message
Many people tend to overlook this point until the very last minute. Do not be one of these guys; both Gmail and Outlook allow a person to pre-schedule a vacation notice in advance. There are so many email services that allow the same. Ensure you set the settings which will allow you to check messages while you are away. Also, leave an alternate contact for emergencies.
- Request for Updates the day before returning to work
This tip may work or may not, depending on your current relationship with your manager. Nonetheless, receiving a summary of everything that is important before you go back to work will help you focus and be effective. In most cases, a manager will need a reminder, which is why it is wise to take advantage; yet again of email scheduling, which will automatically be sent to remind him/her.
The other alternative is requesting a brief meeting with your manager, which will help you regroup and focus on projects that are most urgent. This should be done the first morning when you get back to work.
- Cleaning Up Before leaving
This tip applies both for your home and workplace. Before going for a vacation or leave, it is wise to file away all contracts that have been sitting on your desk for long, organize memos on your desk, and put away the mail. However, doing this does not guarantee you that you will come back to a clean desk, but simply have a better starting point. It is an excellent way to ensure all urgent tasks have been delegated.
While at home, spend a few hours straightening up and get your brain ready for work. Many people fail to focus their minds on chores while on vacation or leave. To get yourself in the mood, take a few hours cleaning, vacuuming, cleaning the fridge, and others. As for me, I love ensuring I have stocked up on little snacks that I can eat to boost my energy. In a nutshell, cleaning is a great way to know where you can start off or proceed.