Stressed Out by Your Summer Holiday?

It’s summer, everyone has either gone on holiday, is on holiday or planning a holiday – it’s holiday season. We pack up our lives and escape to unwind, relax, explore, discover, indulge, laugh and enjoy ourselves outside of our routine lives.  Sounds great and stress free? For many people, being away from the workplace on holiday adds an additional layer of stress to the skyscraper tower of stress that many of our lives have become and the whole reason we go on holiday – to knock that tower down!

Here are some tips to avoid tipping your tower over pre-holiday and to maintaining the holiday glow for longer post-holiday:

Make lists

Three to be exact!  One which lists everything you are working on and the corresponding status – waiting on feedback, a decision, client response for example.

Two will be your priority list – the things you must first address when you get back from holiday. Keep this list short!

The third list is your personal checklist with everything you need to bring, do and sign off on before holidays from passport to booking the dog into kennels.

Do a handover

Delegate any tasks or pieces of work that must be actioned while you are away. Clearly document what needs to be done, who is doing it and when. Ensure all stakeholders are on board and committed.

Share lists one and two above with a trusted colleague in case of an emergency!

Tidy up

Do a desk clean up, get rid of any documents, files, post-its that are no longer needed.  Coming back to a clean and ordered work environment will be a much nicer experience.

Out of Office

Don’t forget to put your out of office message on your phone and email.  That way you can be away knowing that any urgent requests will be dealt with and your contacts will know you are away and not simply ignoring them.  It is so important when you are on holiday to be on holiday and not checking your emails and phone.  With our 24 ON society there is often the perception that we must be available no matter what the circumstances.  Be clear with your manager and team that you are only contactable for emergencies and allow yourself to have that well earned break.

Buffer day

If you can, plan your holiday with a day in between coming home and going back to work, this will give you an opportunity to settle at home, sort out your things and get ready to go back to work in a calm and refreshed manner.

First day back

Arrange a quick update with your manager/team and check your lists for priority actions. Don’t panic with the endless list of emails that is awaiting you – start from the top and you’ll soon be caught up.  Stay in holiday mode by ensuring you leave on time and plan activities for the rest of the day.

Lastly – plan your next holiday and have something to look forward to in the diary.  Don’t let that tower build up too high!

Ingrid O’Sullivan, Operations Manager