You may only have a couple of days off, or you may be lucky and have a couple of weeks off over the festive period – however long you have it’s important to make the most of the time you have, try to switch off from work and enjoy some much needed family time,
Here are 5 simple tips to help you make the most of your holidays.
1. Clear off all of the tasks that you can
Anything left hanging can give you niggling thoughts over christmas. Try to get rid of all the silly little tasks that you’ve been putting off.
If you have bigger tasks, then try breaking them down into smaller, more manageable tasks (I’ve recently talked about this in my post “Overwhelmed? Don’t break down, break “it” down“), or tasks that you’re happy to complete before and after your break.
2. Set up email autoresponsders
With the advent of smartphones it’s all too easy to check your phone for work-related over holidays. Let people know when you’ll be checking email & how to get hold of you in an emergency by setting up an auto-responder.
This way you can limit your need to check email to once a day (yes, you’re allowed to check your emails once a day, I’m not expecting you to go cold turkey!), make a note of what needs to be done when you get back to work and then forget about it until after the break.
Most companies will have someone working or on call over the holiday period. Make sure you hand whatever you can over to this person (don’t over-load them though!) or if something urgent comes in to you over the holidays you can have someone else deal with it whilst you relax.
4. Clear your diary
Don’t arrange meetings in the couple of days before yo break up for the holidays or for at least three days after the break.
Meetings tend to generate action points which you’ll feel obliged to look at before you go on a break. When you come back from a holiday it can take a good couple of days for you to get back into the swing of things and sort out your priorities. You don’t want to be adding to your task pile unecessarily.
5. Try not to bring work home with you
This one can be easier said than done with the ability to store files in the cloud, bring a laptop home with you, or dial into your work computer remotely. Remember that you’re supposed to be spending time with your family, not writing up TPS reports. You may think that bringing a report home to finish over the holidays will be a productive move – no interruptions from collegues, no phone calls or emails to distract you, but there’ll be other distractions (kids running around, something to watch on TV)
Leave work at the office. If it’s not completed thanks to your organisation in step 1, then it’s something that can wait until after the holidays.
Over to you
Can you switch off over the holidays or do you use it as extra time to get things done you can’t seem to fit into your usual work schedule?