Summer is right around the corner and I’ll be the first one to admit that I’ll be using my PTO to take some much needed vacation days. We camp A LOT during the summer so I’ve had to figure out ways to stay on top of my work load. Who wants to have a giant mess waiting for them at work when they return from vacation? I sure don’t! I love my job, but there’s a time and a place for work. The last thing I want to do is have to answer a work email or a phone call while relaxing and drinking my beer by the lake.
These are five things I do to stay on top of my work load during vacation season.
1.Prioritize your Tasks – In order from most important to least important, write a list of what needs to get done. From presenting candidates to clients to constantly responding to client emails, I would say my day is constantly busy. Although I’m considered to be a “multi-tasking pro”, I’m also not a robot and tend to forget things if I don’t jot them down. I write new tasks down as I think of them sporadically throughout the day and as soon as I complete them, I cross them off the list. When preparing to leave the office for a few days, I make sure I put it all into an email so my teammates know what is going on while I’m gone. This brings me to my next point: Ask for help.
2. Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help – In the email I send to my coworkers, I try to keep it concise yet detailed to ensure I’m covering everything from top to bottom. I include what I did the day before, what’s pending, and what needs to be checked up on. We do really well with covering each other’s desks while anyone is gone. My team always has my back and never lets things get out of hand while I’m away, and they know that I always have their backs when they need any help.
3. Always Plan Ahead – Take care of what you can before you leave and prepare for your first day back. Always staying three steps ahead will ensure a stress free vacation! If you have a major task that needs extra attention, go ahead and get it done before you leave so you are not leaving it for someone else to worry about. I always set my “out of office” message so clients know why I’m not available and who to call if they need immediate assistance.
4. Declutter and Organize your Workspace – I don’t like to work with a messy desk as it makes it hard to concentrate. Like my mother says, “Everything has a place and if it doesn’t you probably don’t need it.” Studies show that having a clean and organized workspace increases productivity and creativity and reduces stress. Recycle old papers; use your desk organizer for pens, notepads, and marker; and use the sides of your cubicle (if you have one) to pin pictures and most reached for papers. Clear space=clear mind=getting more things done.
5. Go into Work Early – Take care of the pending tasks before your normal work day starts. As much as I love my dear coworkers, I can’t always assume every single thing was 100% taken care of. Going in early helps you catch up and tie up any loose ends that need attention, especially if you are coming back from a vacation. When the normal work day starts, you’ll be all caught up and ready for whatever new tasks come your way!
Annette Miles, AurStaff
Annette has been with AurStaff since September 1995. She began as a part-time Recruiter and has worked her way up to Senior Account Manager. She enjoys the satisfaction of taking a great candidate and placing them with a great client and seeing it grow into a successful placement for both. In Annette’s spare time, she enjoys boating and camping with her family.