In an ideal world, vacation would be a time to relax and unwind – to refuel our batteries and spend time with our families. Too often, our work travels with us, and we’re left worrying about how our job will get done while we’re away. If you want to make the most of your vacation, use these tips and tricks to automate your work ahead of time.
Plan in Advance
Before your vacation even begins, spend a few weeks laying the foundation for your trip. If possible, look ahead on your calendar to find upcoming events and projects. Start completing these tasks in advance. Unfortunately, during this prep period, you may need to spend some extra time in the office. Strive to get all of your big projects done before the trip begins.
Set a Point Person
While you’re away, you’ll need someone to take the lead on your job and take care of day-to-day tasks. Ask someone to be your main point of contact. Select a coworker who already has a keen understanding of your daily duties. This way, you can trust they’ll have the know-how to get the job done right. You don’t need to worry or feel guilty for asking someone to be your point person. Eventually, they’ll need a vacation too, and you’ll be able to return the favor.
When you start planning your vacation, spend some time with your point person, setting the expectations for your time away. Create checklists and provide contacts that will be useful.
If you’re worried about overwhelming your point person with this work, consider splitting up your duties between two or three people, but make sure to ask one person to take the lead and make decisions on your behalf while you’re away.
Spend some time telling your day-to-day contacts about your upcoming vacation. If you’re planning on telling them through an email, make sure you include the date you’re leaving, the date you’re returning and the information of your point person.
You’ll also want to create an autoresponder for your email messages. This will send an out-of-office response when someone reaches out to you. Don’t forget to update your voicemail greeting, too.
Keeper of the Contact
Ask your point person to be the gatekeeper of your communication. If someone from the office wants to get ahold of you for a business issue, they’ll need to go to your point person first. If the point person feels they can’t handle it, then they can contact you directly. This helps keep the smaller issues from getting in the way of you and those drinks with the little umbrellas.
Automate Smaller Tasks
If your job includes a great deal of data entry, consider hiring a virtual assistant for your time away. A virtual assistant is a person who will do this work for you. You can go through freelance sites like Upwork to find a virtual assistant that meets your needs, which is great step to automating your life.
Lock Away the Smartphone
This bit of advice isn’t recommended for the faint of heart, but if you really want to unplug from the world, leave your smartphone at home to unplug from your mobile data. Or, at least downgrade to a phone with only calling and texting capabilities. Sure, you’ll spend a few extra dollars on a prepaid phone, but it will help you truly get away from the hustle and bustle of work life. Not only will this help you get off the grid, but you won’t have to worry about dropping your smartphone in the pool!
Make Your Vacation a Vacation
As you’re getting ready for your vacation, take the necessary steps to automate your work. You’ve worked hard all year. It’s about time that you give yourself a real vacation. And if you’re looking for lifestyle tips, subscribe to the Zing Blog now.
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