Vacation with no regrets

It’s not a secret that every good vacation needs some planning. But this article is not about the place to go to, how to get the cheapest tickets or what stuff to take. This one is on how to prepare yourself mentally and what preparations to take before leaving your team or company for a vacation period and come back with minimum or no setbacks.

You see, no one wants to waste those one or two weeks in stress worrying on how it’s going out there in the office. And what if you are leaving for more, maybe a month? How to come back and be sure you will be able to put together all the pieces of the puzzle, how to save yourself from seeing all those nightmares where your clients leave you with angry complaints or even worse, where you get fired. If you’re one of those who care about the things mentioned above, take a comfortable seat, a snack and check the list of possible steps to take.

The Introduction:

Before getting down to this article I checked among my friends and acquaintances if they have stress leaving for a vacation. And most of the respondents said “yes” while other part said they don’t care about what’s going on while they are away. And that’s where I’d like to start.
Usually, people are divided into two groups:

  • those who don’t care
  • those who get stressed
  • If you belong to the first one, it’s not a good choice, since diving into your vacation or taking a day-off leaving everything behind is not always a good practice, especially if people depend on you. Usually, people think that all their troubles will vanish while they are on the vacation, but it only escalates the problem and when you get back you face the double of what was a tiny issue before.
    If you belong to the second group, let me share with you my own experience topped off with some useful info from the Internet.

    Short instruction not to get crazy:

    1. First and foremost, start planning your vacation a week or even two weeks before leaving on it. “Why” you may ask and I will reply “To avoid this crazy rat race”. If normally you have a workload you can manage, here you not only have to manage all your regular things but also plan everything for your teammates and maybe other teams. Also, it will help you not to get in a position where right before the vacation you’ve got a whole stack of tasks to be done at the very last night. So, to cut the long story short, start planning beforehand.
    2. Close all the unfinished task. It will not only save your nerves but also nerves of your co-workers and clients who won’t waste a lot of time getting in the know.
    3. Inform everyone. This one includes letting your clients know when you will be away and who can help them in case of emergency, letting your co-workers know what tasks/projects they will be substituting you in. You never want to be interrupted on your vacation.
    4. Prepare a detailed instruction for everyone. This one follows the previous point. Try to think it this way, while you’re away your substitute should never think of interrupting you on your vacation and everything should be as clear as possible for him.
    5. Use auto-responder. It won’t only once more remind that you’re on vacation, but also will help in case someone new is reaching to contact.
    6. Last but not least, try to get rid of all the distractions while on vacation. You see, the main point of taking a vacation is to refresh your both body and mind, but having your messenger popped off with notification from your workplace will not help you do that.
      If you did all the previous steps right you shouldn’t be worried since people will hold your back out there and the overall process of getting back on track will go smoothly.

    Also, it always pays if you leave some useful notes for yourself, just to be able to catch things quick once you’re back from the vacation.

    These are the list of things I usually do to plan my vacation and have no stress leaving my team for any period of time.
    Feel free to comment and share your preparations.