If you have ever been in a store just as it is closing you will see customers frantically running around trying to grab their last minute items, which often leads to them forgetting the one vital item that they had to purchase. Don't let your last day at work just as chaotic.
As you count down the hours left in the office before vacation, are you wandering the hallways wishing your employees season's greetings and asking them about their holiday plans, or are you locked away in your office scrambling to complete your to-do list and achieve that elusive inbox zero?
Follow these five ways to guaranteed to allow you to smoothly sail into your vacation:
1. Stop trying to achieve the impossible
While inbox zero may look visually appealing for a few seconds, does anyone really care? Decide what is time sensitive and what you have to address before you switch into holiday-mode.
2. Check for false deadlines
You may be working against a false or flexible deadline, check and renegotiate your project deadline, suggest an alternative that takes the pressure off you. Communicate your new date of delivery.
3. Be clear if it is shutdown time
When I worked for British car manufacturer Land Rover, vacations were simple, the factory shutdown, nobody worked and vacations were clearly defined. Now it is down to each company and leader to set what is expected during vacation time. Let your team know if you will be on the ski slopes out of cell phone range and who makes decisions in your absence.
4. Don't just run out of the door
Don't frantically work right up until you run out of the door. Complete an end of work ritual: wrap up your projects, send those last few emails and review your calendar for your first week back.
5. Schedule your first day back now
Instead of frantically trying to achieve everything today, plan your first day back from vacation now and schedule in your outstanding tasks to the day you return.
I recommend to the leaders I work with that your last day at work before vacation is most productive if it is meeting free. By being ruthless, in a thoughtful way about not booking meetings, it gives you space to wrap up your work, talk with your team and plan your return.
Schedule in now a pre-vacation meeting free days for all of your future vacations and watch how your productivity soars.
If you want to hear more productivity tips on how to accelerate the growth of your company by magically creating more time, boosting your energy, and maximizing your resources, you can learn more in my forthcoming book Thoughtfully Ruthless: The Key to Exponential Growth (Wiley, May 2016).