Summer is finally here and you’ve decided to cash in on your vacation time.  You deserve a little R&R.  Here are a few things to do before you leave work for vacation.

Reconcile your work.  This includes any projects you can feasibly finish before you leave and any unread emails.  Clear out your spam and trash folders, and get your parenthetical Unread number as low as possible.

Delegate any tasks you were unable to complete to colleagues.  If you are a senior-level admin who supervises other admins, distribute tasks among them.  This will also give you a good indicator as to who can handle what.  If you don’t supervise other staff, seek assistance from an admin you trust who is on your level.  You’ll be sure to return the favor when they go on vacation.

Leave yourself a note detailing what was delegated and to who, what you completed, what you did not complete, and what needs immediate action upon your return.  List every task you have; while the information may be fresh in your mind right now, a week or two of being away may fog your memory.

Fill up your paper trays, replace low ink, order supplies and leave procedures in an obvious place.  You may be able to change the printer cartridge with your eyes closed, but if the executive you support is suddenly inkless, it’s important for him/her to know (just this once) how to do it on their own.  Check supplies and reorder what you are low on.  Note where you keep supplies as well, such as staples, pens and folders.

Ensure your executive’s calendar is in order before you leave.  This means if you purchased theater tickets to a show for him/her for a date you’ll be out, print the tickets and leave them in an obvious place (or with another admin) for him/her to retrieve Opening Night.  Any dinner reservations you’ve made should also be confirmed, and again, in an obvious place leave the name, address, and phone number of the restaurant.  Print off at least two copies of their calendar arrangements for the time you’ll be out, and leave an extra copy with another admin.

Clear your work space before you leave.  No one wants to look at your mess while you’re gone, and you’ll feel more relaxed coming back to work with an organized space.

Schedule a meeting with the executive you support before you leave to update him/her on any projects and open activities. Also schedule a meeting for when you return to catch up on anything you missed while you were out.  This will also give you an opportunity to address any new action items that require immediate attention. 

Set up an Out of Office Reply that thanks the sender for their message and includes when you left, and when you will return.  Include alternative contacts for senders to connect with should they require immediate assistance.


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