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Author Topic: Work -> Holidays -> Work  (Read 4802 times)
gee4
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« on: March 06, 2012, 10:11:07 pm »

Following on from an earlier thread about how we adjust from work mode to holiday mode and back again to work mode...it's simple, time management.

I know I go on about this all the time but it works and when I see colleagues who cannot do this it pains me.

Here's how I manage it...

On Friday I had an extremely busy day.  As usual because it's a short day, you have to cram more into the time you have, but I still ensure I finish what I need to before I leave.

I was off yesterday so I knew if I left anything on Friday it would have to wait until today.  What I had to ask myself was, did that give me enough time when I returned on Tuesday, was anything else urgent before then?  Once I established that, I was able to update my Task List on Outlook, turn on my Out of Office and go.

I dialled in to my voice messages on Monday from home and was able to delete several but listened to them all.  Out of 8 callers, only 2 had actually left a message so I knew what they were about before I came in to work today.

I always come in early, mainly to get a space in the car park, but it also means I have at least an hour or more before phones start ringing or others appear in - the great advantage of working flexi hours.  I find this is the most productive time of the day.  I was able to read and answer any emails, action the 2 requests left on my answerphone as well as check my bosses calendar for the day/week and update team whereabouts info.

Once others started to arrive I was more or less back into work mode but felt really refreshed for having a day off.  I won't deny I had a busy day but I was able to get back into the swing of things quickly because I had managed myself and my time efficiently.

Let me also point out, when any of the assistants are off there is some cover, so no one is stuck if they need travel booked or meetings arranged.  Having said that, most of us will only look after our own bosses eg. my boss knew I was off today and was able to manage without me as he didn't need anything done while I was off.  Anything he did need, I completed before I left work on Friday.

Sorry for the cliché but that is how we roll.  The only way to manage your time off and go from "work mode" to "holiday mode" and back again, is to be organised and manage your time...what do I need to do now and what can I leave until I come back?

Everyone is entitled to holidays and time off, it's up to you how you manage your workload and your deadlines.

Comments or questions welcome.
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Jackie G
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2012, 11:46:44 am »

Gee

You ended up working on your day off by listening to your voicemail.

Although I have remote access to my email etc from home, the only time I would ever look at that is when I've been on leave and want to clear the rubbish from my emails and be alerted to anything that might need immediate attention when I reach the office, or when I'm waiting for an answer to something important and that it suits me to know sooner than later.
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gee4
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« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2012, 11:59:43 am »

No Jackie Cheesy I didn't work on my day off...it took seconds to listen to my messages and saved me "time" when I came in yesterday.  I was also better informed to carry out the tasks having listened to the messages in advance.

It's all about managing your time and being organised.  I dial in regularly to do this, on a Friday in particular when I've left the office.  I've even taught my team how to do this, so they too can manage their voice messages when away from the office instead of letting them build up and have to deal with several urgent tasks all at once.
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Atlanta Z3
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« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 03:31:43 pm »

I will admit to occasionally checking my web mail.  My thought is that I am away from work on my personal time and the whole point of vacation is not to work.  One company I worked for made their executives take at least one full week off a year without access to computer phones etc.  It was twofold: no one should be indispensable to a company and everyone needs down time.  I wish more companies had this ethic in this time of smart phones.
However, I commend your efficient handling of your time.
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countrigal
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« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 04:56:50 pm »

I do consider anyone who does anything relating to work on a day off to have done work on their day off... even if it's only a quick call in to listen to voice mails.  But that's my personal opinion, and with that, I do not do work on my days off.  My preference, but also because where I work, we are not provided access to our voice mails, work e-mails, etc from anywhere outside the office.  Only the very highest employees (ie: Director, Asst Director) have this ability, and even their PA's do not have this access.

I love the fact that some folks are in a job where they can manage their time and work the way Gee describes.  So far, I have not been blessed to be in a position where this was possible.  In my experience, the best laid plans are the easiest screwed up, and if you're not able to roll with the flow, you'll drown.  I've never been able to detail out what needs to be done and in what order, without being sidelined with 50 other items that just rolled in and bumped everything else.  Don't get me wrong... I have a game plan, a general idea of what is going to be done when, but my days are all very fluid to ensure that others emergencies don't become one for me too.  I know I've been in unique positions, and have really been at the whimsy of way too many people calling the shots and having control over my destiny in work related issues, but I've learned to deal.  I do what I can to the best of my ability each day, and leave it and return whenever.  If I have time off, then I do what I can to handle what I'm aware of, and then catch up when I return.  No other options were available.

In my new position, I'm much more able to plan and manage my time as Gee has stated.  I'm responsible for a set amount of work, which is known in advance, and I am responsible for ensuring it is completed, even if I will be gone part of the month.  The end product is the same, all the work I'm assigned will be done by the end of the month.  The first of the next month i will get a new set of assignments/workload, which again must be done by the end of the month.  Any time I'm not in the office, I know what I need to work ahead on or catch up on when I return.  Much easier than my older positions, and I love being able to manage my workload and time to ensure that I get it all done.
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raindance
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« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2012, 06:28:18 pm »

I work in a very fast-paced environment so my priorities can be constantly shifting, although there are some fixed points during the year.  Achieving defined goals each day is the way I work my job. 

I manage my time and schedule very well, eventhough I say so myself, and I don't waste time.  I never allow work to intrude into the remainder of my time and I do work at quite a senior level.  I think that what a person does outside work is at least as important as what they do at work. 

A great deal depends on the job that one is doing.  Some jobs have a fairly standard set of priorities and goals.  Others, particularly those in media, for example, or at CEO level can be much less easy to pin down. 
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