It’s Summer! You’ve banked those vacation hours, foregone taking an extended weekend for your birthday, and you’re ready to take some much-needed time off. Relaxation awaits just around the corner.
We’re here to make sure you’re laying out your beach blanket, rather than laying out step-by-step instructions to your colleague, with these tips for a fun furlough.
Cleaning out your inbox
You may never have been able to reduce your inbox to zero, but a good practice is to clear out any messages to the lowest common denominator before bidding adieu.
Go through each email and prioritize with Eisenhower’s Urgent/Important Matrix:
- Important and Urgent – Extremely High Priority
- Important but not Urgent – High Priority
- Not Important but Urgent – Low Priority
- Not Important and not Urgent – Extremely Low Priority
For messages that are Important and Urgent, take time to address those emails prior to your leave. For those that are Important but not Urgent, use the starring/flagging system to ensure that the messages are your first priority upon your return. The Not Important but Urgent emails may be delegated to the person who’ll be covering for you while you’re gone. Not Important and not Urgent emails can be postponed until you’ve made it back to the office.
Oh, and don’t forget to turn on your out of office reply.
You have job duties that must be done on a daily basis, and you’ll want to ensure that those duties are fulfilled in your absence. Find out if you’re able to pass your everyday responsibilities along to one of your colleagues. If so, carve out some time to meet with your backup to list and thoroughly explain what must be done and when it will need to be completed.
- Provide your backup with your passwords to any applications that he or she will utilize daily
- Leave contact information for important connections (e.g., tech support, clients, and vendors)
- Identify the location of reference materials that will supply the answer to any routine questions that may arise
Since your colleague will be holding down the fort in your absence, you’ll want to make sure that the transition is as easy as possible. Leaving a detailed list of things that must be done and how to do them will eliminate your need to check your phone a trillion times while you’re away.
Organize your workspace
You know the Rockford files are underneath a pile of papers tucked inconspicuously in the paneling of your cubicle, but your colleagues might not. Taking time to tidy up your desk before you leave will guarantee an easy search.
A clean work area allows peace of mind during your trip. Put to rest the pangs of wondering if your coworkers saw all the crumbs in your keyboard or dust bunnies in the corners of your cube with the gift of tidiness. Double bonus – you’ll return to a desk that’s spiffy enough to be on HGTV!
Now that you’ve taken the time to prepare, get your motor running, head out on the highway, and enjoy your vacation!