Stressed Before Going On Leave? Suggestions To Manage Your Workload & Absence

October 14, 2010

Leave can be a refreshing period away from work.

I’m sure we have all experienced at one time or another that the lead up to a break can unfortunately be a very stressful time.

It’s often to the point that you’re thinking, “is it really worth it”?

How To Prepare For Leave

We’ve pulled together some ideas to help you to prepare for leave, that will hopefully improve your ability to switch off and enjoy the well-deserved break.

  • What do you need to achieve before you start your leave?

    Write a list of all of the tasks that you need to complete before you go.

  • Prioritise tasks so that the most urgent and important items are covered off.

    Ensuring that those items that you are procrastinating on that need to be completed also make it onto the list.

  • Put together a plan on when these tasks will be performed and as a suggestion, block out time in your diary for tasks to be completed.
  • Put in place as many plans as you can to minimise the chance you’ll be called upon during your leave.

    Let your key stakeholders know well in advance and prepare file notes or a hand over to help through the transition.

    If you’re handing over work to someone, try and do this sooner than the last week if possible.

    This will allow time for information to be absorbed and for the other person to start completing the task whilst you’re still there just in case any questions or issues arise. (Also this will help minimise the chance of a rushed hand over at 4:30pm on your last day!)

  • Do what you can to avoid returning from leave to a disaster of a desk/work area. 

    Tidy up as much as you can and get everything organised for when you return, before you go on leave.

  • Turn your email and phone out of office on!

    It is important that others know when you are leaving, how long you’ll be away for and who can help them with their enquiry during your absence.

    It can be worthwhile to put this on the morning of the day that you’re going, just in case you don’t get to everything and to highlight to others that you are about to go on leave.

  • Make notes as to where you are up to on the current tasks, so it’s easier to jog your memory when you return and it’s also out of your head before you start your leave.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no” to additional work (obviously within reason).

    With any new request that comes in, help yourself out by highlighting to the requestor your upcoming leave and the possible timeframes on their request.

    This will help manage their expectations and hopefully will buy you the additional time you will need to fulfill on your workload pre and post leave.

  • Finally enjoy your well-deserved time off!

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