10 Tasks to Do Before Leaving on a Break

Today is the day before a holiday weekend for many here in the U.S.

You may find yourself hurrying to get out of the office. (Or out-of-town…)

However, I urge you to take a moment to finish up your work before you leave.

A little effort now will pay off big time upon your return.

What do you need to finish up before leaving for a long weekend?

Preparing For Your Time Off

Before you go charging out of the office, take a moment to consider things you are leaving for yourself upon your return.

Are you leaving a mess that will be waiting for you when you walk back in the door?

Or are you leaving a cleaned up and tidy environment that will let you hit the ground running after the break?

If you leave a mess, you are only setting yourself up for a rough return.

Finishing up your work before you go… will let you enjoy your time off that much more.

Have you ever been on a break, and all you do is worry about your return to work?

10 Things To Do Before Leaving On Your Break

If you want to enjoy your time off, make sure you wrap things up before leaving.

You will also ensure a smooth return to work after your time off.

Here are 10 Things To Do Before You Leave on Your Break:

  1. Empty Your Inbox – You keep saying you are going to do this. Now is the time. Emptying your inbox before a break can be a extremely satisfying task. It will also ensure that there are no hidden “time bombs” waiting for you upon your return.
  2. Clean Your Desk – If you leave a mess, you will have to dig out of it when you return. It’s not fun returning to a pile on your desk. Take 10 minutes and clean up your workspace before departing.
  3. Respond – Don’t leave communications hanging over a break. Respond now, while the conversation is still fresh in your mind and you recall the details. Return those phones calls, messages, and emails. (See #1)
  4. Review Your Calendar –  You don’t want to walk into any surprises when returning to the office. Review your calendar out several days (or weeks) beyond the break. That way you can be ready for any meetings or appointments that may be lurking immediately after the time off.
  5. Get Some Work Done – While others are fleeing the office, have the discipline to get some work done. Working while others are not is a great tactic for getting ahead.
  6. Prepare – Knowing what you have to do after the break is good. Being prepared is better. Take a few moments to prepare for the tasks and appointments that you will have to deal with after the break.
  7. Meet Those Deadlines – What work is due before the break? Ensure you meet those deadlines before leaving the office. Otherwise, you will be worrying about them during your holiday. And that is not fun…
  8. Finish That Project – Finishing an important project before you leave can make your time off that much more sweet. Close up an important task before departing and you can bask in a job well done.
  9. Do That Draft – Should you start something before break? I think you should… if it is the draft of something you need to do. Start a new creative project now, and you might be surprised what has developed in your subconscious mind upon your return.
  10. Connect – Believe it or not, but right before a break can be a great time to make that important connection. You may think that offices are empty, but often it is the decision-makers who are still working after others have split.

Before You Leave

Before you go on holiday this week, take some time to clean up.

Finish up your work now, so you can enjoy your time off.

And when the break is over, you can thank yourself for a trouble-free return.

Question: What do you need to do before leaving for break or holiday?

9 thoughts on “10 Tasks to Do Before Leaving on a Break

  1. This is the same approach I try to have to Fridays. It is even harder on Fridays. For the fourth, we only get one day off, so it won’t be too bad. But good advice, thank you!

  2. Great tips, Craig.

    It’s amazing how much we can get done right before a few days out of the office. I need to have that mindset when I’m NOT going away. Having a sense of urgency and being ‘intentional’ about getting things done are two things that have helped me plow through my tasks.

  3. My sister is probably the busiest person I know, and I want her to forget about work as much as possible before the family goes on vacation. However, even she knows that she’ll need to do some stuff out of the office even if it means contacting certain people, so it really helped when your article mentioned that taking a couple of moments to prepare for the post-vacation workload is a great idea. Since my sister does most of her work online with her emails, I figured I would find a laptop rental that we can visit to get her a working unit before we head over to our summer house. Thank you!

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