Switching off from work with a pre-holiday routine

person closing their laptop and placing diaries beside it
Getting ready for some time off can be pretty stressful when you have a lot going on at work! Tying up loose ends before you leave for a few days/couple of weeks can be full-on, so it is time to introduce a pre-holiday routine to help you have a Better Workday. That way you can finish up anything you need to, and plan for your first day back so all you need to worry about is relaxing!

If you have ever walked away from your laptop but continued to think about work long into the evening then you know what this feels like. This impacts both your overall well-being and performance at work. The time spent away from work is an opportunity to care for the other important things in our lives, have fun and rest. It allows us to return to work motivated and re-energised.

Setting boundaries and building routines to define the end of the working day are helpful if you struggle to separate yourself from work after hours. The same applies to longer breaks from work, although the routine itself may be slightly different.

Below is a sample pre-holiday routine that will allow you to leave the laptop closed during your time off and return to work with focus.

5 Days to Go – Getting the routine started

Review your to-do list and decide what action should be taken for each.

  • Are there any items which no longer add value and can be deleted?
  • Are there items that can be completed by someone else in your absence?
  • What definitely needs to be done by you before your time-off begins?
  • What can wait until you come back?

If the actions to be done exceed the time available, whose expectations do you need to manage?

2 Days to Go

Proactively plan your return to work by answering the following questions:

  1. What is the most important outcome/result when I return to work?
  2. What 2-3 things can I do to increase the likelihood of achieving this outcome
  3. When will I complete these 2-3 things.
  4. What issues/blocks will prevent me from getting this work done?
  5. Who can help me to remove or reduce these blocks?
  6. What action will I take on my return to work to address these blocks?

1 Day to Go

Spend 15 minutes reflecting on the workday that has just ended. Answer the following questions:

  1. What went well?
  2. Could something have gone better?
  3. Can I do anything differently from now on?

Before you finish work for the day, complete the holiday checklist.

  • Set up your out of office auto-reply on email.
  • Turn off your laptop or pc completely. If you are working from home, plug it out of the socket.
  • Tidy your workspace.
  • Remove your work email and other apps from your personal phone. If it is a work phone, turn off notifications and alerts.
  • Walk away

Download and use this guide to help you disconnect from work and make the most out of this festive season.

Stay Well and Have A Better Workday

Niamh

Pre-Holiday Routine

Download the guide and checklist to switch off from work and return with focus.

About Niamh

Niamh is committed to making the information and tools to improve productivity available to every professional who is striving to improve how they work and live.

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