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Don't leave a mess when you go away

Coming back from a well-deserved holiday is never the high point of the year. Especially if a huge pile of work is awaiting. Do what you can to prevent this by delegating effectively before you vacation.

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Here are a few practical tips:

1. Develop a workplan

You may receive a few unexpected tasks just before you leave. Make sure you have a workplan to finish all of it on time. Otherwise you may find yourself working late on your last day!

2. Stay in control of your schedule

Rushing from one emergency to the other is no way to manage your time. Set your priorities and stick to them. That way, you will be able to plan your work in the long term – as well as your holiday leave and the delegation of your tasks.

3. Spread the word

Tell your colleagues, customers, suppliers and managers about your holiday well in advance. Set up an "out of office" mailbox response which specifies the name and contact info of whoever is replacing you.

4. Get it down on paper

Give the colleague who will be replacing you a list of all tasks to be performed with all the necessary information. Make sure to also give him/ her some leeway to do the job in his/her own way!

5. Ease yourself back in

Don't expect to start working full blast the minute you get back to the office. Give yourself an extra day to ease yourself back in and organise a debriefing. Request feedback from your back up. That way, things will go even more smoothly next time you take a holiday.

6. Everyone is – temporarily - replaceable

Remember, the company will continue functioning without you. There are things that can safely be left until your return. Keeping this in mind will save you a great deal of stress.

Enjoy your holiday!