The holidays are in full swing, which means holiday parties, time off with the family, and sneaking away to finish up your shopping. However, it can be a challenge to balance holiday to-do’s with work to-do’s and the last thing we want to worry about during the holidays is work.
For most of us, knowing we’ve covered our bases allows us to flip the work switch off and relax. But that peace of mind can only be achieved if we set ourselves up correctly. And while business is inherently unpredictable, we’ve put together these five tips for factors that you can control before going away to set yourself up for a happy, stress-free holiday season!
- Pre-holidays prep
The biggest gift you can give yourself is peace of mind as we head into the holiday seaon, and that means preparation well ahead of time. Anticipating deadlines and prioritizing projects weeks ahead of when you’ll be out of the office can translate into a clear line between what needs to be done before you leave, and what can wait until after. Use apps like Trello to maintain your lists with this “before and after” perspective.
- Don’t be a bottleneck
Nobody wants to be the reason a project is being held up, and the key here is communication. Reach out early to all of your stakeholders and let your team know when you’re going to be out of the office – Connect with them in person, via e-mail or quick pings on Slack – so you can leave knowing you didn’t drop the ball.
- Notorious OOO message
Probably the simplest, yet most effective thing you can do is to set-up your Out of Office message. For anyone you might have missed before leaving, or that falls outside your usual team, it sets clear expectations while you’re away or unavailable. In many cases, after you let people know that you have limited access to email, they may even be pleasantly surprised to hear back from you while you are away.
- Schedule your work ‘check-ins’
If you do need to keep in touch while you’re off for the holidays, be sure to set specific times that won’t disrupt your time with family, and set a maximum on your communication. For example, an easy rule to follow is two email checks in your day: once in the morning, and once in the evening. Reply only to what is time-sensitive, and save everything else until you get back. Done. It’s important to respect the time you have allowed for time off, both for your well-being and for those around you. Switching your email notifications off or even turning your data off while you’re out enjoying yourself can help keep this in check.
- Enable your technology
Technology has made it possible for us to be equally or more productive when we are outside of the office. In fact, many leaders are beginning to embrace remote culture for its many productivity benefits. With LogMeIn Pro you can access files on your work computer from your personal laptop, even if you’re over the river and through the woods at Grandma’s house (assuming Grandma has wi-fi). Once you retrieve that document from your work computer, you may need to collaborate on it with a colleague or update a client in a quick meeting. Simple start up join.me from your laptop or your mobile app. You can easily screen share with a colleague or meet face-to-face with a client, maintaining strong relationships even with your time off.