How to Prep for Vacation So Nothing Goes Wrong

ProjectManager.com

Do you resist taking a vacation because you’re scared that something will go wrong in your absence? You need a break without stress, and Jennifer Bridges, PMP, shows you how to prepare for a vacation, so work-related problems won’t intrude on your paradise.

Here’s a screenshot of the whiteboard for your reference.

here's how you can take a vacation from work

In Review – How to Prep for Vacation so Nothing Goes Wrong

Jennifer said she knows a lot of people who complain that they can’t go on vacation. Why?

Some say they have no time to complete tasks or wrap up projects before they leave. Others say they have no time to transition tasks to someone else to take care of them while they’re away. Then there are those who say that they have no time to catch up on the backlog they missed while gone. That’s a lot of negatives, but they’re really just excuses that are responses to stress, frustration or fear.

Don’t give in to that negative energy. Jennifer has seven ways to get your work in order so you can get a break. After all, that’s one of the reasons you’ve been working so hard, right?

Related: Why a Hiatus is Good for Your Business

How to Get Your Work in Order for an Extended Period

  1. Name someone to act as your backup. You need a person who can handle questions about your work while you’re not available to answer them. They should be a person who is close to the work you’re doing and has the skills to maintain its process while you’re out.
  2. Once you’ve gotten someone to back you up, then you need to prepare them for what they need to do and what they might have to do in your absence. For instance, bring them up to speed on the projects and tasks you’re working on. Make sure they have access to the project tools and information they’ll need while you’re gone, including a list of contacts and how to reach you in an emergency.
  3. Notify everyone who you interface with that there will be a backup person in place who will be in touch with them and with whom they can contact if there are any problems or questions. Give them the essential information, such as when you’ll be leaving and returning to the office, how long you’ll be out and the name of the backup person to contact while you’re gone. This is a key part of good email management before you take that vacation.
  4. Close out your open tasks that are due, or if that’s not possible, then negotiate a new due date. You can also assign the task to someone else, so it’s completed within the schedule. You don’t want to block progress, but that also doesn’t mean you have to risk burnout by never taking a break to recharge your batteries.
  5. Organize and file your paperwork, so it can be found by those who are responsible for overseeing your work in your absence. Have the work placed in file folders that are accessible by other team members, and let them know where it is on your computer. Or you can store the files online with a shared cloud storage app or project management software. Just remember to give access privileges to everyone who might need to reference the work.
  6. Have all outstanding invoices or bills paid, or at least send out the invoices, so they can start the process of getting paid while you’re out. The last thing you want is to come back to a desk littered with past-due bills or invoices that haven’t been paid and therefore wreak havoc on your budget.
  7. Finally, set expectations with your coworkers and clients. Let them know that you’re out of the office, but maybe you are available by call or email to address questions or concerns. If you’re reachable, let people know when, so you have a certain time on vacation when you know the office might try to contact you.

Pro-Tip: The right tools make taking a vacation less stressful. For example, with a calendar tool, you can let everyone know the details of your vacation. Also, if you’re a manager, it’s a great way to organize your team’s vacation and holiday time.

Take it Further: When you get back from that vacation, there’s sure to be a pile of work. Learn how to quickly catch up on work after a vacation.

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Transaction

Today, we’re talking about how to prep for vacation so nothing goes wrong. Well, for the people I talk with who feel like they can’t go on vacation, here are some reasons why.

Number one, they feel like there’s no time to complete tasks or wrap up projects before they leave.

The second reason is they feel like there’s no time to transition tasks to someone else to handle while they’re gone.

And the third one is they feel like there’s no time to catch up on the backlog when they get back.

So here are just a few tips for being able to prepare your work and get it in order for an extended period.

Number one, name your backup. Some people feel like they can’t name a backup, but in most environments, people are working with someone who is familiar with their work, they have the relationship and the expertise that they can handle things on someone’s behalf. So name the backup of who to call while you’re gone.

Number two, prepare your backup. So whoever you name as your backup, get them prepared, set them up for success while you’re gone. And some of the things could look like, let them know the status of the projects you’re working on or the tasks that you’re working on that are still pending.

Also, give them access to information. If you have certain logins or passwords to things that they need or specific information to complete this task, let them know what that is.

Also, provide them with the list of your contacts. Maybe give them important people on your projects or people that you’re accountable to and how to reach them.

And let them know how to reach you, like when to reach you, is there a certain number, the certain times of the day, so that they can reach you if something goes wrong.

Also, number three, notify your team and stakeholders. Let them know you’re going to be gone. Let them know when you’re going to leave and when you’re going to return. Let them know how long you’re going to be out and who to contact as your backup while you’re gone.

Number four, close out open tasks that are due. There are some alternatives that you can have for that if you can’t get them completed before you leave is negotiate a new due date or assign it to someone else to complete it while you’re gone.

Number five, organize and file things so that they can be found. Some people today still use literal file folders or online storage.

Number six, pay or send any invoices or bills that may be due or to send out during that time.

And number seven, set expectations on calls, emails, issues. If you are out and you are willing to take calls, check your emails, or handle certain issues while you’re gone, set the expectations. Let them know when you’re available, when you’re not, and the best way to reach you.

So these are just a few tips that can help you prepare for when you take a vacation. And if you need some additional information or resources that can help you ensure that nothing goes wrong, then sign up for our software now at ProjectManager.com.

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