Many of us look forward to the festive break and all that comes along with it; the socializing, parties, spending time with family and of course the food! However, it is important that we also strike that balance of the fun alongside taking time to switch off and recharge; that begins by recharging from work!
Easier said than done, right?
As support professionals, we want to ensure all is as it should be, no stone left unturned, and it is easy to get anxious that you will come back after the break to a mound of work you may have missed or just need to catch up on.
Here are some top tips to help you truly switch off over the festive break…
Prioritise the critical tasks in the run up to your break & be comfortable with pushing back
Ensure you have finished any time sensitive or business critical tasks before you go on leave. This may mean pushing back on tasks, but if you have all of your tasks prioritized, you will feel more comfortable setting boundaries. The key here is to go off on leave feeling comfortable in your ability to finish everything on time so that you can fully switch off.
Set expectations with your exec
Your exec may decide to do some work in their holiday break, but that doesn’t mean you have to! Set expectations from early on. Share with them your awesome holiday plans and that you will not be contactable as you are going to dedicate this time to you, your friends and family.
Create a to do list
Us support professionals love a to do list! Before heading off on your break, create a to do list of what you need to do when you come back from your time off. Maybe that’s some outstanding projects that can wait until after your break, a new year clear out of emails or a calendar refresh for your execs. Whatever it may be, write it down so it is out of your mind and on paper (or screen) ready for your return after the break.
Turn off notifications & set your out of office
You will likely have a work phone, or work emails on your personal phone. At the end of your last day, switch off your phone / turn off work related notifications. You don’t want to end up down a rabbit hole of “just checking quickly” while you are on leave and realizing hours have passed when you could have been spending that in a much more festive way! Not only that, but you open the door to creating more stress for yourself. However much it is tempting, step away! There is nothing that can’t wait until your back. Your email signature is equally as important. Make sure it is clear that you will not be checking your emails while you are away and will be in touch on your return date.
Clear your desk (especially if you work from home!)
If you are in office, it is easily to physically leave work for the festive break, however as many of us now work from home or in a hybrid workforce, it is important to leave your “virtual desk.” You can do this by clearing your desk & locking away your laptop. Out of sight, out of mind!
Set some goals
While you are on your break, it may be a good idea to set some goals for the year ahead (work and personal), so you come back to work with a clear mind & expectations ready to boss it! The Assistant Room has some great resources around goal setting, if you need some inspiration 😉
If you decide to do some work…
I get it. Sometimes it just can’t be avoided. Whatever you do though…you must be strict with your time. Give yourself a period of the day to dedicate to work (I’d recommend the mornings so you can then let it go and enjoy the rest of your day)
Don’t panic & Enjoy the break!
Easier said than done, I know; but remember that it is likely that your execs or at least a lot of the workforce will be off at the same time, so the chances that work will pile up over the festive break are very slim! You owe it to yourself to switch off & dedicate some time to what YOU enjoy, be that reading a book, taking a yoga class, cooking or lazing in front of the tv, as well as spending time eating, drinking & being merry!!
Enjoy the festive break and remember, all can wait until you are back!