Once you get back into the office to get back to your list of emails to reply to and meetings to attend with only 4 days to get your job done – you may freak and start to panic. But before you sign off….
- Reorganise your schedule for a 4 day week. Before you completely log off before the long weekend, take a look at your calendar for the week ahead. Reschedule your appointments that fall on the day off and then reorganise the rest of your week so your schedule isn’t overloaded with meetings the second you get back to the office.
- Set expectations with your out of office message. If you know you won’t be able to respond to emails until the end of your first day back, tell people that in your out of office auto reply. If you want people to flag urgent matters for you, ask them to write “urgent” in the subject line. Whatever your style is for getting back to work when you’ve been away from your inbox, let people know so they can help you stay sane when you get back to the office.
- Block off time for responding to emails in advance. Book yourself off a window of time to dedicate solely to replying to emails. If you schedule this before you leave the office, you won’t be scrambling on your first day back trying to balance everything you need to do.
- Create a reasonable to- do list for your return. While it’s fresh in your mind, make a list of what you have to prioritise when you get back into work. It’s easier than trying to remember it 3 days later and your future self will thank you for getting organised in advance.
- Schedule emails, blog posts and social media posts that need to go out on the holiday. Don’t forget to schedule marketing emails and social media content to go out while you’re away from your desk.
When you get back to work……
- Check in with your team. Whether it’s virtual or in- person, have a quick stand up meeting with your team to review what everyone’s focusing on to ensure nothing slips through the cracks. The meeting also gives you all a chance to catch up on how you spent your time of and how to prioritise the week ahead.
- Prioritise your to-do list. Take a look at your to-do list. It’s probably a bit longer than on a typical Monday. right? Sort through your list and determine what needs to be prioritised and what can wait until the next day.
- Triage your email inbox. Try organising your inbox using multiple inboxes, which help you organise to sort through messages in a way that makes them easier to work through when you get back into work. You could use labels like “needs action” or “to-do list” to easily visualise which emails are of highest priority. When you log back into your email sort and label your messages according to which needs replies immediately, and which can wait until later in the week.
- Don’t burn out. There is such thing as working too hard and burnout could end up sabotaging your productivity as the week goes on if you don’t take enough breaks. You might feel stressed at the thought of only 4 days in the week to accomplish your while to-do list. But remember to prioritise your list (point 2). Determine what ca be accomplished by one person over the course of a workday.
- Enjoy your long weekend. Last but not least, try to unplug when you have time off and make the most out of your time off by doing other fun activities outside of your job role. With the help of these points – RIM wishes you a great long weekend and great next week, too!