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How to shut down work to kickstart your holiday (without working in your free time)


It's Friday morning and you are sitting at your desk in the office. You've had a busy week and scheduled all day to wrap up final tasks so that you can start your holiday this evening! If things goes as plannend, you shut down your computer a little bit before 17.00 (because you nailed your agenda!) and go home where a start-your-holiday drink is waiting for you! Let's start those holiday vibes!

For many of us busy workers that not the reality. The time that was planned to wrap everything up has been taken by other tasks, administration, urgent calls or holiday chats at the pantry. Most office employees need extra time (in the evening, weekend or even the first days of the holiday) to finalize tasks in orde to be able to really shut down their laptop and install the out-of-office in their email. 

To make sure that you can wrap up wat work efficiently, here a 5 tips to make sure you can enjoy your holiday the moment it begins!



1. Manage your time in an early phase

The first thing you need to do to kickstart your holiday is managing your schedule weeks before on beforehand. If you have 10 projects, meetings, trainings etc. going on in the days before your vacation, it's bound to happen that you don't have enough time to finilize everything. Why? Because every task, meeting or business conversation has unseen 'after tasks' like writing an email with the points of action, scheduling things for when you come back, writing a report and share it with colleagues etc. So make sure you don't pack your agenda too full the days before you want to shut down. 


2. Block enough (50%+) admin-time on the days before your holiday


When you leave for vacation, you like to leave things nice, tidy and organised. That goes for your work desk, information management but also for your digital files. Therefore it's important to block time in your agenda for admin and vacation-prep tasks, so that you can walk away feeling op top of things and that nothing can go wrong while you're away. This means: save important documents or emails in the collective team files, letting colleagues know what the status is and if questions come in where they have to refer your clients, partners or stakeholders to. Block 50% more time than you think you need to make sure you can leave office as relaxed as possible. 


3. Communicate 


I have seen this happening to many coachees and experienced this myself in the past... you have a day off or on holiday, but colleagues still contact you for questions. Sometimes they don't know that you not working, sometimes they do but find the question urgent enough to interrupt your holiday. In which way you want to be available for work during your holiday is 100% up to you. However, it does help to communicate very clearly when you are on holiday and that people cannot reach you or in only specific case XYZ. Make explicite what seems implicite. If you don't want to be contacted by colleagues for work related issues during your holiday, tell them about it during your chat at the pantry and state this in your out-of-office text. 


For example: 


"Thank you for your question. I am currently on holiday untill [date]. I won't be looking at my email during this time. When I am back I'll get back to your question as soon as possible. For urgent matters, please contact [name / support office] by [number]."





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