As the use of smartphones and smart devices has become more widespread, the line between work hours and personal life has blurred. Our phones are always with us, which contributes to instant access to emails and texts even in our free time. However, to keep and maintain a good work-life balance, lines should be clearly defined, especially during holidays.
Having an improved work-life balance equals increased productivity, a less stressed workforce, and improved well-being, among others. While not resting properly during time off can have major impacts on physical and mental health. The holiday season often means increased pressure and stress instead of enjoying a well-deserved holiday. So, we are sharing our top 5 tips that make it easier to get a grip on tasks before the holidays.
1. Plan your disconnection and your return in advance
Keep track of the tasks with project and task management tools like monday.com or create lists with Microsoft’s To-Do. You can prioritize the tasks that await you and your team, but also make it easier to pick up where you left off when returning to work. Nonetheless, these tools are also perfect for planning your holiday preparations and sharing tasks between family members.
Coming back to work with a day full of meetings may hinder your productivity on your first day. Blocking out your calendar helps you to catch up on tasks that have accumulated while you were away, organize a plan of action and prioritize tasks.
2. Prepare for urgent matters
Ensure all task handovers are completed and not left for the last minute. If a colleague fills in for you during your holiday, discuss the time-sensitive tasks with them and agree on the best time to contact you if necessary. Also, take advantage of the out of office message and personalize it to best describe your availability. You can choose the dates and times you’d like to set your automatic reply for, so this can be done in advance.
3. Get into the holiday spirit
The end of the year often seems more stressful than usual, which makes it difficult to enjoy the holidays. In this case small steps can actually make a huge difference. During the season there is no better way to kick off an online meeting than listening to some holiday music while waiting for the team members to join. Also, holiday-inspired backgrounds in Microsoft Teams will be appreciated by your colleagues.
4. Control notifications
We tend to use our phone and laptop during the holidays as well, like doing some last-minute shopping or streaming a movie. However, push notifications can easily ruin our free time. It’s worth taking the time to adjust push notifications for work-related apps or set up do not disturb periods to limit further interruptions.
5. Enjoy being offline
Working in the IT industry is all about being connected. Take advantage of the holidays and spend some quality time with your family and friends without smartphones and other devices at least for a few hours. Playing board games, strolling around the Christmas markets or enjoying a book can be quite relaxing.
Adding the extra steps can help support you during the holiday season. Having the right work-life balance can be challenging in today’s connected age, but it guarantees that you will return to work feeling rested and re-energized.