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Being on vacation should be a fun and relaxing time. However, if you don’t plan accordingly, you may find yourself overwhelmed and stressed when you return. Here are 5 things you should do before you leave on PTO:

 

  1. Plan Ahead and Prioritize: It’s important to plan accordingly and set clear goals on what you would like to complete before you leave and what is okay to continue once you return. Make sure you prioritize the most important tasks and don’t procrastinate until the week you leave. Look ahead at what’s going on weeks in advance so you can anticipate things the client or your team may need during the time of your vacation. Don’t forget to reschedule meetings during that time as well!

 

  1. Communicate with Your Team: Make sure you speak with your manager and team so they know well in advance of your vacation plans. It’s a good idea to send them a reminder note or calendar invite weeks in advance so they are aware and have it on their calendar. Make sure your team has everything they need from you before you leave, and set up a quick call or meeting with them a few days before so everyone is on the same page.

 

  1. Communicate with the Client: It’s important to let your clients know a week or two beforehand and ask if there’s anything they need from you before you leave. Reassure them that everything is under control when you are out and your team will be covering anything that you usually take care of. Also make sure you talk to them about rescheduling any reoccurring meetings.

 

  1. Think Critically about Your Schedule and Calendar: Plan your schedule carefully not only for before you leave but when you get back as well. Be strategic about how many meetings you book the first day you get back or the day you leave. You want to make sure you have enough time to wrap things up before you leave as well as catch up when you return. It probably isn’t the best idea to schedule client calls the morning you get back since you probably will be catching up with emails and getting back into the routine. Plan effectively to reduce the stress level before and after PTO.

 

  1. Decide How Reachable You Will Be: Make sure you let your team and clients know if you will be reachable by email or will you not have access/will not be checking email throughout the entire trip. Think about what works best for you. Whether that’s completely shutting all communication down from work or checking emails occasionally for your peace of mind, always remember that taking time off should be a relaxing getaway from your work life. This way you can come back refreshed and ready to get back to work!