Six Tips for Getting Sorted Before the Christmas Break
5 December 2011 at 11:33 am
Avoid a hangover of the worst kind in the New Year – the work hangover. Get your work affairs in order before you take off for the Christmas and New Year holiday to ensure that you don’t return to chaos in the workplace.
Here’s Pro Bono Australia’s tips for what to do before you go away for the Christmas break.
Draw up a to-do list a couple of weeks before Christmas
You won’t be able to enjoy your break if you’re thinking about things that should have been done at work. Take charge now. Before you go on your break to write a list of things that need to be done before your office shuts down.
In order to work out what should have priority over your time leading up to Christmas, number your to do list according to priority. Anything not urgent and not important, that doesn’t have a strict deadline imposed on it, can fall to the bottom of the queue.
Work through the list methodically and don’t procrastinate.
Don’t take on too much new work just before you go on leave
Ask yourself – can this wait until the New Year – or is it absolutely essential that it be completed before the end of the year? Prioritise your workload so you don’t end up getting swamped before the end of the year.
Taking on a massive new project in December when you are likely to be feeling tired and in need of a break will not be good for you – or the project. If possible put off any new work until the New Year – when you are feeling fresh and have a clean slate.
Thank your clients
A simple email or card letting people know you appreciate their support and wish them well for the holidays is a gesture that will go a long way.
Try to personalise your cards or emails. Your clients and friends may feel insulted if they get a generic email where the only trouble the sender has gone to is to fill in a name in the recipient field. The generic thank-you letters could even end up in the Spam or junk folders.
Set your out-of-office email
Before you walk out the door on your last day before holidays let your clients and business associates know how long you’ll be away for and if you are collecting emails whilst on break (we recommend not checking your work email while on holiday – as it can lead to a stressful ‘break’).
Don’t forget to change your mail box greeting on your phone. Include when the office will reopen, when you’ll be back at work and who – if anyone – to contact in your absence.
Give your desk and papers a thorough clean
A new year means a new start. Before you go on leave, go through all the things that may have been cluttering up your desk and filing cabinet over the year. If you don’t need it in 2012, chuck it out.
Same goes for your computer desktop.
When you come back to work refreshed – your desk will look refreshed too.
Go easy on the drinks and parties
It is tempting to unwind before you go away, maybe attend a few lunches or Christmas drinks. Getting last minute tasks done will be much harder to complete after a long lunch or with a sore head the next day. Try not to party too much in the lead up to the Christmas break, so you can get things done before you go on holidays.