Five Tips for Leaving Work Behind When You Go on Vacation

Written By Alla Levin
March 12, 2020

Five Tips for Leaving Work Behind When You Go on Vacation

Just because you’re going on vacation doesn’t mean you will actually feel like you’re on vacation.

There are a lot of things about vacations that can be stressful!

From spending hours in the airport to figure out where to store your luggage before you can check into your hotel, you’ve got a lot of kinks to work out before you can truly relax and enjoy your trip.

That includes leaving the office behind. If you spend a lot of time thinking and worrying about work, you won’t feel like you took a vacation at all!

Don’t waste your vacation hounding your email or worrying about projects that were left undone.

Make sure everything is pinned up before you go with these tips.

Set Clear Expectations With Supervisors and Coworkers Leaving Work Behind on Vacation

Figuring out how often to check your email at work is one thing. Figuring out if and when you should be checking your email on vacation is another.

Does your supervisor expect that you’ll check in at least a few times while you’re away?

Do you have plans to completely unplug, which includes not being available for phone calls?

Make sure these expectations are ironed out ahead of your vacation.

That way, your boss isn’t stewing because he hasn’t heard from you in days, and you don’t have to spend a lot of time worrying about what explosive message could be waiting in your inbox from coworkers.

Make a List at Least a Week Ahead of Time

Lists are great every day of the week in both your professional and personal lives. Just a few benefits of making lists include:

  • They clarify what you need to do.
  • They keep your to-do list organized.
  • They can help you determine the order of importance.
  • It feels good to cross things off your list.

A huge benefit of making a list before you go on vacation is that you’re unlikely to forget something before you leave.

You don’t want to wake up in the middle of the night in the hotel and realize there’s something you forgot to do before you left the office!

The trick is to make your list at least a week ahead of time. That gives you a few days to add important items to your list so you don’t forget anything.

Reach out to Important Clients and CustomersReach out to Important Clients and Customers

If you work closely with clients and customers, it’s a good idea to reach out to them directly.

You don’t want them wondering why you aren’t getting back to them when you are normally very communicative.

Reaching out to clients and customers only has to take a few moments.

Send a quick email to let them know you’ll be out of the office and when you expect to be back.

They’ll appreciate that you didn’t leave them in the dark.

Get a Vacation Backup Buddy

Telling coworkers you’re going on vacation is hard, but it is extremely important.

Everyone in the office needs to be alerted to your absence so they can plan for it.

You also need to get a vacation backup buddy.

A buddy can help take over your responsibilities while you’re gone so you don’t have to worry about the workload you’ll return to when your vacation is over.

It provides your clients and customers with a point of contact if you aren’t available, and it ensures there’s someone others in the office can ask about your projects and responsibilities while you’re gone.

Make sure everything goes smoothly by scheduling at least one meeting before you leave.

That way, your buddy has a chance to ask questions, and you know that they know everything you’ve been trying to communicate to them via email.

Set up Out-Of-Office Email and Voicemail Messages

Leaving work behind: even if you plan on checking your email or voicemail periodically while you’re on vacation, chances are, you won’t be available to return messages as quickly as you would if you were in the office.

That’s where out-of-office messages come in.

Outline very clearly when you expect to return messages so those who are trying to get ahold of you aren’t tempted to email every day or leave multiple voice messages.

Include the contact information of your vacation backup buddy so there’s someone they can get a hold of in an emergency.

Don’t ruin your vacation by spending it thinking about the office! Let all that stuff go and take a true break from your daily workload by making sure everyone in your office is ready for your absence.

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