Woman at her desk wearing a Hawaiian shirt and holding her passport. She clearly needs some pre-holiday tips to leave work on time.
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Going on holidays? 5 tips to wrap up work in time

10 Jul 2018

Sometimes, wrapping up work duties before you go on holidays can seem like a momentous task, but it doesn’t have to be.

At this time of year, many people have holidays booked from work. Are you going somewhere nice? Planning on clocking out of work for a week or two?

We all need to take our holidays to give our brain a break. For many, that might simply mean finishing up your last day as normal, downing tools and turning on your out-of-office emails.

However, if your work means you need to check off certain boxes, complete or hand over some tasks, or explain certain projects, then you may feel like you have to do extra work just to take your holidays.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It can be even harder to cram extra work into the days leading up to your break when you’re very much in holiday mode.

With this in mind, we’ve compiled some handy pre-holiday tips to help you wrap up everything you need to do at work before you switch off that screen.

1. Find the perfect location

Not dissimilar to finding your dream holiday destination, one of the best ways to power through some of your checklist is finding the location that works for you most.

Do you need to hide in a meeting room to fully focus and work faster and smarter? Would working from home be more beneficial? Whatever time or location you think works best for powering through certain tasks, make sure you plan your pre-holiday days accordingly to be in those places.

2. Prioritise and delegate

You’re unlikely to get absolutely everything done before you go and the sooner you realise that, the better. Take the time in the days leading up to your break to decide what you can get done and what you can leave until you get back.

Once you’ve figured everything out, delegate the tasks that you can in order to help you clear the decks before you head off. If you’re leaving some things until you get back, make sure you don’t forget about them after a week in the sun.

3. Leave a handover

As we said, you’re not going to get everything done. Depending on how long you’ll be gone for, there will be certain tasks that someone else will need to handle in your absence.

There will also be unforeseen queries that might come in while you’re away that only you can answer. Try and leave as much information as you can about where projects have been left and think about what tasks someone might have to follow up with while you’re gone.

You’re probably not going to be able to think of everything but if you spend a little extra time on your handover, you’re likely to catch most situations.

4. Pre-holiday checklist

Now it’s time to do those other pre-holiday tasks to truly wrap up your work before you go. This means setting up your out-of-office email – seriously, don’t forget to actually set it.

It also means making sure you haven’t left emails unanswered before you go away. Even if you don’t have an answer, let people know you’ll be away and you’ll check back in upon your return.

It’s also a good idea to leave yourself a to-do list for when you get back. It can be tough coming back to work after your holidays, so if you have a set list of things to start with, it might help you ease back in.

5. Don’t obsess about it

This is arguably the most important point for you to take on board: don’t obsess about getting absolutely everything done before you go on holidays.

Of course it’s good to tie up loose ends, but just be careful not to turn your relaxation time into recuperation time from some extremely stressful pre-holiday weeks.

That’s why the point of these pre-holiday tips is not to put in double-time to get everything done and burn out in the process. It’s to find the most efficient way to figure out what you can get done, what can wait and what you can delegate so that you can head off on your holidays stress-free.

Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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