Time management Monday: Work preparations for holidays time off

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Design Bridge Christmas desk decoration competition

The holiday break is rapidly approaching and you still have a pile of work to get done before you take leave. We’re used to thinking of how much time we have to get things done before the end of the month, but this month is different: instead of having until the last day of the month to get finished, you only have until the last day you are working before your holiday break. Don’t panic, here’s how to get control of your workload without going into a frenzy. Start now so you can enjoy a relaxing holiday without stressing over work the whole time.

Assess: First, take a look at all your work you have going on. Write down your deadlines and deliverables’ due dates into your planner/ calendar. Think about how many hours each project and task will take. Adjust that time up to account for unexpected things coming up and any possible delays. Now look at the number of work days and hours you have left before you go on leave. Which of your projects do you have time to complete?

Waiting/ follow up: Are you waiting on someone to complete something or get back to you before you can move forward with your work? Get in touch with them now to remind them you are waiting on their actions before you can continue with yours. They are probably busy too, and may have forgotten about getting back to you. The quicker you can get them to reply, the sooner you can get on with your work.

Prioritize: Be realistic about what you can finish before you leave work. You might have to get ruthless about what to cut if you won’t be able to get it all done before your holiday break. Decide what absolutely must be done before you go. Anything that would be catastrophic if not completed must be done first. After that, items can be completed in order of priority, taking into account how long each task or project will take. Also, do yourself a favor and decide what you can put off until the new year.

Set up for a good start back to work: Don’t rush out the door to your holidays and leave a heap to sort through when you get back. Make a plan for your next actions when you return to work, so you can avoid that back-to-work adjustment stress and step right back into your work flow.

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