Make sure to double-check coverage with key internal allies well in advance, and if you think it's appropriate, give external clients a couple of weeks. Summarize your plan for how their work will be handled while you’re gone, including an introduction to any backup colleagues, and assure them that upcoming deadlines will be met.
2. Focus only on necessary work before you go
“Many of us stress about doing extra work before leaving in hopes of cutting down on the amount you have when you come back,” says psychologist J. Kip Matthews, vice president of AK Counseling and Consulting. But it’s better not to add the stress of mentally insisting on inbox zero, especially if that’s not your norm.
Most email auto-responses have a variety of options, such as sending different messages to internal and external emails, and how many times you'll send an away message to the same email address.
Some people might be copying you on a string of emails, so, often just the first out-of-office message is necessary.
6. Create a back-to-work list
As you're prepping to leave, inevitably you’ll come upon tasks that you don’t have time for or that will be nearing deadline when you return.
Making note of them allows you to free your mind while you’re relaxing and provides a blueprint for priorities when you get back. On your list, include ending your vacation away message so that in September people aren’t still hearing that you’re out from June 18 to 22.
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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