It is easy to be in a great mood as we head off for the long awaited Christmas break. Time spent with the family; eating and drinking far too much; socialising, is all very appealing. But, all too often people suffer melt down and despair at the thought of returning to work.
And is it any wonder why? We are usually heading into the darkest depths of Winter, our wallets and waistlines are probably stretched beyond recognition, and you have a mountain of emails and messages to return, that could probably reach to the moon and back.
So, what steps can you take pre-holiday, to make sure that when you return to work you are feeling thoroughly refreshed?
- Lists are great ways of keeping track of what is important and what is not. So before you head into your final working week before a holiday, make sure you have a game plan. What are the things that ‘can’t wait’ and urgently need to be covered off before you break up? And what are those things that can wait until you return? Remember to be strict, even with customers. Only make sure you are working on the truly urgent issues, before your break. Plus, always leave yourself some contingency time, to deal with those important issues that will inevitably pop up, at the last minute.
- Give yourself breathing space. During your final week at work, try and touch base with all of your clients and customers, about any projects that you are currently working on, or are due to work on after the break. Agree what you can cover off before the break, and let them know when you will pick up with their project on your return. Don’t forget to perhaps give yourself one or two days grace when you return, so that you can work through emails and messages, before you delve back into your client projects. By, knowing that people are not expecting a response from you, on your first day back at work, will help against feeling overwhelmed.
- Leave it at the office. We have all at some point probably taken work home, or thought about taking work home, in order to have a ‘head start’ when you return, but this in itself is the biggest mistake you are likely to make. Research shows that a staggering 73% of workers have at some point suffered from work related stress, which is why downtime is vital for your wellbeing. Not to mention, even working 1 or 2 hours a day during your break is likely to cause family arguments, which in itself leads to guilt and further stress. Holidays and breaks should be spent with your family and friends, or doing activities that bring fulfillment and enjoyment, not fielding calls from customers.
So wherever you are heading off to this Christmas, make sure you leave work at the office, and enjoy every moment of your break doing what makes you truly happy!