There’s always something to look forward to during the holidays, whether it’s a well-deserved vacation or extra time to spend with family. Getting away from “work mode” for a few days or even a week is a great way to start the New Year feeling refreshed and reinvigorated. But before you head out for the break, are you wondering how to get organized at work? Take some time now to prepare for your return so that it’s easy to jump right back in. Follow these tips to organize everything from your desktop to your calendar, so you can unwind and fully enjoy the holidays — it’s all about having balance!
#1. Plan ahead.
Planning early allows you to break tasks into small, manageable sizes instead of handling everything at once prior to leaving the office. Look at your to-do list for the upcoming month. Can you get a head start on any projects? If so, how much extra time do you need daily to get them all done? Getting started early helps avoid last-minute rushes and logging long hours before your holiday vacation.
#2. Touch base with your coworkers.
If your office doesn’t officially close during the holidays, it’s important to designate a point person who can answer questions about your projects. Create a coverage plan for the people who will help out while you’re away. Try to anticipate what questions or issues might come up. Depending on how long you’re gone, you may need to schedule a quick meeting and send a follow-up email – it’ll help avoid miscommunication and serve as a reminder for anything that could be easily forgotten. Proactive planning helps ensure that your colleagues are prepared to handle any issues that arise during your absence, allowing you to enjoy your holiday uninterrupted.
#3. Communicate with external clients or vendors.
Reach out to your clients/vendors a couple of weeks before leaving the office to tell them who their point of contact will be while you’re away. A calendar reminder can go a long way – consider sending one a few days before leaving to answer any last-minute questions. Set up an out-of-office message to automatically direct others to your administrative assistant, supervisor or coworker and include their contact information. Keep it short and sweet to avoid confusion.
#4. Clean up your calendar.
Ensure your calendar is updated before you leave the office so you won’t be scheduled for meetings while you’re gone. If possible, schedule some time as “unavailable” the first day you get back. Reserve this time to get up to speed on projects after your vacation. This is also the perfect chance to clean up your calendar by declining any standing meetings you missed and to evaluate anything new that’s been added to your calendar.
#5. Organize your desk (and desktop!).
Spend an hour decluttering. Recycle old papers or notes and place information your coworkers or supervisor will need in a spot that’s easy to access. Now’s the perfect time to break out that stylish desk organizer and put it to use! Dust off your monitors, keyboard, mouse and phone to keep everything fresh and clean when you get back into the office. Delete outdated files and move all backup files to your company’s server, or give your colleagues permission to access them. There’s nothing worse than getting locked out of a project when deadlines are looming!
#6. Check in during your time off.
Although this might sound counterintuitive, it may help reduce your stress and workload upon returning to the office. However, if a brief check-in turns into working during the holidays, it can prevent you from fully enjoying your time off. If looking at your emails reduces your stress levels, set a specific time limit and check them. But if you find that it gives you anxiety, give yourself permission to turn off your notifications for a few days to truly unwind.
If you plan to read emails, set some guidelines so you can still enjoy your break. Try checking messages for less than an hour in the morning to allow time to handle questions, then move on with your day. Try to avoid logging on right before enjoying a holiday event to prevent potential work issues from distracting you during the festivities.
#7. Create a plan for your return.
Reduce your stress on your first day back in the office by planning ahead and giving yourself plenty of time to catch up. Check your calendar and avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings or conference calls. Check in with anyone who covered for you to receive any important updates that may have happened while you were away. You’ll get right back into the swing of things in no time, but enjoy your time off to the fullest!
Getting some time away from the office is a great way to celebrate the holidays and reward yourself for your hard work. Take a few extra steps to get prepared and organized before you leave – it’ll make it much easier for your coworkers to adjust and help you to avoid any surprises once you’re back. After all, the new year is the perfect time to start healthy resolutions at home and work!
Need a little help with your resolutions? Learn more about the healthy strategies you can use during the holidays by setting up your free appointment with Jenny Craig today.
Elisa is a content marketing manager for Jenny Craig with over ten years of experience working in the health and fitness industry. She loves sharing her passion for living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. A San Diego native and an endurance sports enthusiast, you can usually find her swimming, biking along the coast highway or running by the beach in her free time. Elisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Chico.
Favorite healthy snack: mozzarella string cheese with a Pink Lady apple.
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