7 Tips To Avoid Last Minute Panic Before Your Holiday

It's holiday season and as you wind down from work, do you do so in a calm, collected manner or in a mad rush of activity?

Do you manage to leave work on time on your last day or end up working late having managed to send that final email and finished off the report your client was waiting for.

Or do you dump it all on a colleagues desk (difficult if it's your own business) and breath a sigh of relief as you hope for the best while you're away.

Plan ahead.  You know when your holiday is coming up, so plan ahead and don't leave everything to the last minute.  Start planning a minimum of two to three weeks before you go, so you have to time to get things organised.

Prioritise.  You won't be able to get everything done, so you'll need to prioritise.  Make sure you get anything that absolutely has to be done before you leave.  It's no good realising all the important things you have to do on the last day (see point 1).

Don't overbook.  Try not to cram too many meetings or appointments into your final week.  There's no point having a load of follow-ups and action points that you won't have time for.  If anything - plan a quieter week.

Delegate what you can - good practice generally but more important when you're not going to be around. What's going to happen to your business while you're away?  Who's going to answer the calls, respond to emails or look after your clients and customers?  You can switch everything to voicemail or set up an 'out of office' message.

Alternatively, if you get a lot of phone calls - redirect them to a call answering service who can handle all your calls while you're away.  They could be booking appointments, talking to clients and taking messages, so you don't miss any business opportunities and you can feel your business is good hands - one less thing to worry about.

Handover.  While you might feel that only you can run your business - that's not the best strategy.  Make sure you have systems and processes in place that enable the business to keep ticking over in your absence and that important information is not in your head.

Communicate - let your clients know you're going to be away, when and for how long.  Give them time if you need something from them before you go (see point 1).

DON'T plan to work while you're on holiday!  You need a break and that's why you're going on holiday.   While a cursory check of emails may be needed or you might have to be contacted in an emergency - let your staff or clients know that you won't be contactable.

Just because you have your smartphone with you - doesn't mean you can be contacted 24/7 - even more so when on holiday.

If you're in the habit of spending much of your 'holiday' working you may need to look more seriously at your time habits, your boundaries and priorities.

Check your time habits today.

Image: Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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