Prepare for time off work to reduce stress later

This is the time of year when a lot of us are about to take some time off work to spend with family for Christmas. Whether you are self employed or work for someone else, there are a few things you can do to prepare for time off to so you can relax properly, not let anyone down and not be even more stressed when you get back to work.

Let everyone know
Make sure you let clients and colleagues know ahead of time that you will be away, so they can be prepared for your absence and ask any questions before you go. Also don't forget to update you email out of office reply and voicemail, so that anyone trying to contact can know how long it will take for you to respond to them. If you have someone who can cover for you while you're away, make sure they have all the information and resources they will need to help you out.

Plan ahead
Get all your projects up to date and look for any deadlines that occur while you will be away so you can get them sorted before you go. Also check what will need to be done as soon as you get back and remember you will have email to catch up on too. Try not to pile too much in the first week back. If you can get it done before you go, you reduce the stress later. Make sure that anything that will need to be done straight away on your return is front and centre on your desk so it can't be missed.

Check in if you need to
If it will help you to relax properly on your break, have a quick check of your email and voicemail intermittently for any "fires" that need to be put out. This will give you peace of mind if there's nothing, but can save working relationships if something urgent has come up for a client or colleague that needs your attention. Just don't get sucked in and start replying to non urgent emails or calls. This is Your time to relax.

Christmas for me is all about spending quality time with family and friends. I hope you enjoy the next couple of weeks and can start the new year fresh and ready for success!

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