As soon as spring hits, summer vacation planning begins. Or you might have started planning your vacation the first time you had to wear your winter coat. Either way, those work-free, sun-soaked days are quickly approaching. While your brain may already be at the beach, your life will inevitably get crazier right before vacation. Not only are you scrambling to finish things that need to be done while you’re gone, but new, rushed projects always seem to come in at the last second.
To help you make those last few hectic days before vacation as smooth and as stress-free as possible, here are 10 things to check off your list before you hit the road.
1. Let People Know You’ll be Out of the Office
Most of us probably have to ask for time off, so your boss will probably know you’ll be out of the office weeks, or months, in advance. You’ll also want to let your co-workers know so they won’t plan projects that require your expertise during that time. And don’t forget about other colleagues outside of your office who you work with regularly.
2. Get Someone to Cover You
Make sure someone will be around to check on your accounts and take care of daily tasks that you can’t do remotely. This is especially important if you manage paid search accounts—something is guaranteed to go wrong while you’re gone. Once you have someone confirmed to take care of things for you, make sure your boss and co-workers know.
3. Write a Manual
If someone if covering for you, write up step-by-step instructions to help them temporarily take care of your tasks. Be as thorough as you can to cut down on unwanted phone calls while you’re gone. It might be a good idea to go through the manual with your sub before your leave town.
4. Finish Tasks
There is nothing worse than having unfinished tasks looming over your head while on vacation. If you’re part of a project that will continue to move forward while you’re gone, go through your project timeline and be sure all your tasks that need to be finished during the time you’re out of town are taken care of. If you aren’t able to finish them, get someone on your team to finish them for you if possible.
5. Set up an Auto-Reply Email
No matter how many people know you’re out of town, you’re still going to be a bajillion emails. Make sure to set up an auto-reply that lets people know if, or how often, you’ll be checking your email while out of the office and who they should contact for urgent inquiries.
6. Record a New Voicemail Message
For all the people who don’t pay attention to your auto-reply email, you’re going to want to set up a new voicemail message telling people how long you’ll be out of town and when to expect a response from you. Actually, you can probably just record your auto-reply email as your voicemail message.
7. Get Closure
Before you leave, check with your boss and co-workers to make sure there aren’t any outstanding or last minute projects that need to be completed. And maybe say a little prayer that there aren’t any last minutes projects so you don’t have a late night before a day of driving or flying.
8. Make a New to-do List
Over your vacation, you’re going to forget everything you were working on before you left, and you may actually forget what your job is entirely. Do yourself a favor and make a list of things you need to do your first day back. This will help you avoid wasting time searching through emails and notes to find out what you need to be working on.
9. Clean your Office/Desk
Nobody wants to come back to a mess. Straighten up papers and folders and grab a Clorox wipe to unclutter your desk and your brain to help you relax.
You’ve tied up loose ends, everybody knows you’re gone, now unplug and go on vacation.
Now that your work-life is all wrapped up, feel free to pack your bags and take your much-needed vacation. Now you just need to decide if you’ll make your co-workers jealous by posting amazing pictures or by coming back with a great tan.