Get Out of Office

Do you find it hard to get away from the office for holidays and vacations? Sometimes it can be so much work to get ready to take a week off, it feels like it’s not worth the effort.

I call it the pre-vacation crazies. It’s when your workload immediately doubles as you run around tying up loose ends and setting everything up to go as smoothly as possible in your absence.

As I prepare for my upcoming vacation to Bali, the pre-vacation crazies have been top of mind. Traveling out of the country has its own special level of complexity, with spotty internet access, foreign currency, time-zone changes and so on.

After too many forgotten items, foreign money issues, and various mini-crises while traveling, I realized I needed a better system to make things easier. So, for the past decade, I’ve been honing in my travel checklist, so I never forget sunglasses, bug spray or a power adapter.

I also have a special Get Out of Office (GOOF) Checklist. This makes going on vacation a heck of a lot easier as it relates to business. I encourage you to make your own GOOF checklist and it will cut your pre-vacation crazies by at least half, giving you peace of mind while sunning in the Bahamas.

Your GOOF Checklist

Here are some examples for your Get Out of Office Checklist:

  1. Block your calendar off early for your OOF, so you have minimal rescheduling
  2. Assign responsible parties for key tasks/meetings
  3. Double check business books and financials are in order
  4. Set-up OOF email notifications
  5. Set-up OOF voicemail
  6. Stop office snail mail (if needed)
  7. Notify building manager of extended leave
  8. Notify clients of extended leave
  9. Back-up computers, secure valuables
  10. Water office plants or re-home
  11. Bring business checkbook and/or credit card to manage financials
  12. Block catch-up time in your calendar for after you return to go through emails, voicemails, mail, etc.

Anytime you leave the office for a few days, you’ll have a unique set of tasks that need to get done, such as getting a specific deliverable to a particular client. Create a list of all these one-time, unique tasks to keep yourself organized as you prepare for your departure.

Meanwhile, the Get Out of Office Checklist is specifically for those things that need to happen every time you leave the office. There are lots of small tasks that can easily fall through the cracks, so having a thorough checklist will give you peace of mind.

By having your GOOF checklist handy, you’ll save yourself the hassle of figuring it out every time. You won’t repeat the same mistakes, and if you have help, a checklist makes delegating a cinch!