• Maria Mander

5 top tips to managing your workload before you go on holiday

A holiday is for recharging, relaxing, leisure and enjoyment. It is an opportunity to spend quality time with family, loved ones and friends. Taking regular breaks will improve your physical and mental wellbeing too, which will then have a positive impact on your creativity and productivity levels upon your return to work.

These 5 top tips will leave you feeling in control, and stress free, before finishing work for your holiday and upon returning to work too. These tips will also ensure that you keep the business operating with minimal disruption in your absence. You should then be able to unplug from your mobile and electronic devices, switch off and enjoy your holiday.


Keep your diary clear the day before your go on holiday to catchup on all of the tasks that need to be completed before you leave the office. This is key and you will feel more relaxed leaving because you know you are on top of everything. The only appointment that should be in your diary for your last day is a handover to brief your team/colleagues.

Also keep your diary clear for the first day after you return from holiday to give yourself the opportunity to get up to speed with where tasks/projects are at. Again, the only appointment that should be in your diary that day is a return to work handover with your team/colleagues.


Update your things to do list and add one bullet point on where you are too with each task/project. Plan and schedule your work (including deadlines) into your diary so you can identify what your priority tasks are. This will help you to stay on track. Ensure you set expectations with colleagues and clients and don’t over commit. Inform your clients who the point of contact will be whilst you are away.

Write a check-list for the first day of your return to work. Prioritise and break up your workload into small manageable chunks. Tackle the most difficult task first, as this will relieve the most amount of stress from your workload.


Your team and colleagues should be able to step-up and keep things ticking along whilst you are away. Ensure you make good use of existing colleagues and share the workload to avoid a single member of the team taking on the majority of the burden. Communicate clearly which key deadlines need to be met, but without overworking colleagues left in the office. Make sure your team/colleagues have full visibility into what you are working on. Let key people have guidelines on how they need to make decisions in your absence to avoid them contacting you whilst you are away.

Don’t for forget to bring back a small gift/token of appreciation and say thank you to the team/colleagues who have been dealing with your workload whilst you have been away.


To avoid returning to an inbox full of emails, clear down your inbox before your holiday. Delete unimportant stuff and file remaining tasks into folders. Setup rules on incoming emails so that they automatically go into folders to keep your inbox clear e.g. newsletters, subscriptions and internal emails. Also unsubscribe from junk emails to keep your inbox clutter free.

Before leaving the office for your holiday, make sure you have a recorded a voicemail message, and leave an out of office response on your emails to include a name and contact number in case of an emergency. Also include the date you will be returning to work so they know when to expect a reply.


Get ahead of the game by having a work outfit washed and ready for your return to work. Also keep some spare toiletries to hand, so you don’t have to go digging into your suitcase on the morning of your return to work. You want to keep it as stress free as possible.

Try to get on top of household chores and washing before you away, so you don’t come back to lots of things to do. Instead you can walk into a clean and tidy house, which will keep you in a relaxed state.

By implementing these 5 top tips should ensure that your first day back upon returning from holiday will go as smoothly as possible. Try to stay in the zone of keeping relaxed and feeling refreshed for as long as possible. And remember all the good memories you have just made…

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