Although the holiday season is supposed to be magical and cheery, people often feel stressed and worried about all the things they have to do. This stress is compounded by those that have to try to schedule time off work in order to make it to Thanksgiving dinner at grandma’s or fly home for Christmas. The bustle and hustle of the season begins earlier and earlier every year, with Christmas decorations and things on display at the store beginning in October. In order to help you get some of the stress of your plate, at work at least, we put together a few steps you can take to prepare for the holidays so leaving work isn’t as stressful as coming back to it.
Schedule your days off ahead of time and remind coworkers and your boss of those upcoming days as often as you need to.
Knowing that you have the right days off in advance allows you to make sure you have time to get those plane tickets or finalize other travel plans for those days. It can be helpful to remind everyone of your days off when they consider planning things that you may need to be at while you are not available. It is also helpful to those that work closely with you to know ahead of time the days you won’t be in the office so they aren’t surprised or negatively impacted at work by your absence.
Work ahead and prioritize your tasks to prepare for taking a holiday from work.
This can be very important for those that get really stressed about leaving work undone before a vacation. The truth is that many jobs are just never truly done or caught up and learning to prioritize tasks before you leave is the best you can do. Everyone needs a holiday and it is ok that you are taking one. Do what you can and notify anyone that needs to know (like a supervisor) of things that may need attention while you are away.
Remember to program an automatic email reply and set an answering machine message alerting those that may be trying to get ahold of you when you will be back in the office.
This will cut down on a lot of stress when you come back to work. While it surely won’t cut down on how many messages and emails you received while you were out, it likely will at least cut down on the amount of angry ones you get about why you aren’t responding right away.
Clean up your desk and office.
This is a great way to leave for your holiday. Making sure that things look orderly and are put away properly gives you some closure to leave for holiday and makes coming back from it a bit less overwhelming. This is also a great time to do a quick cleaning of your office chair and some basic maintenance such as tightening screws.