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9 Things To Do at Work To Prep for Your Vacation

9 Things To Do at Work To Prep for Your Vacation

Summer’s calling, and so is that well-deserved, long-awaited vacation. You’re ready to get the heck out of the office, and go breathe some real air, on a warm beach somewhere with a cold margarita in hand…Except, before you actually step out of the front door and get on your way, there are a few things you must do to make sure you don’t come back to angry emails, aggravated co-workers, and some serious work trouble in tow.

How do you effectively prep for your vacation before shutting your computer down and saying sayonara to your inbox? Do you just take off and hope for the best, at the risk of stressing out during your entire vacation? Or are there specific steps you should follow to ensure you leave with your reputation intact, and actually enjoy your time off? I’d pick the latter.

Focus Even More

You know the feeling, vacation’s a few days away and your mind seems to have left for the Caribbean Islands already…Well, now’s not the time to mentally check out and let your tasks slide! Before you can actually lay on that tropical beach and sip on that margarita, there’s still work to be done. Instead, try to finish off any pending tasks, and anticipate any upcoming need or question from your manager and/or co-workers.

[Related: Three Steps to Managing the Process of Change]

Check In With Your Boss

Leaving your manager in the dark before you leave for vacation is never a good idea! Even worse, you wouldn’t want her/him to have unanswered questions or requests while you’re away. Instead, be proactive and set up a meeting with her/him to let them know where you stand before leaving. Even better, show them exactly your current status by preparing a status memo or spreadsheet they can refer to in your absence!

Check In With Everyone Else As Well

Although you should check in with your boss first, don’t forget the rest of your team! Put your proactive hat once again, and ask everyone around what they need. Whether it’s co-workers, project stakeholders, or clients, make sure to check in with them and discuss pending questions and upcoming deadlines. Not only will you avoid any (bad) surprises, but they’ll thank you for it too.

[Read More: Summer: Slow Down or Full Speed Ahead?]

Prioritize the To-Do’s In Your Absence

As part of updating your boss and team as related to your work priorities when you leave, make sure to communicate these in order of priority. You want them to be able to know where to start when you’re gone, and what should come first. Prepare a schedule of work priorities you can leave with your boss and co-workers to help them navigate your workload when you’re away.

Use Your Work BFF

Your work BFF is not only good to grab coffee and gossip at the watercolor. S/he can also be instrumental when you prep for vacation. See if they’d be willing to be your point-person while you’re gone. You could even include them in your out-of-office automatic replies for reference.

Smash Upcoming Deadlines

The best way to ruin an upcoming vacation is to leave some deadlines unmet. If you know a big project is gone the week after you leave for vacation, then make sure you work on it immediately and leave all the necessary elements behind. The same thing applies if you have a crucial deadline right when you get back. Take a step ahead and smash these critical upcoming deadlines, so you can go in peace…and come back in peace!

Don’t Forget Your Out-Of-Office Auto Reply

This is usually the detail I leave for the last minute…and the one I usually forget most easily! Instead of leaving it for last, prepare a concise and to the point message informing others you’re away on vacation, when to expect a reply from you, and who to go to in case of emergencies.


Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.