Alexander Charles
Xerox public relations coordinator, Global Public Relations

Memorial Day is upon us. If you’re anything like me, you’re looking forward to the unofficial start of summer. Thoughts of sun, barbeque and the chance to recharge are hard to escape. 

Before you pull out your favorite Hawaiian shirt, however, it’s important to keep expectations and the role you play within an organization top of mind. To do this, take some time to think about how you can be present and productive just prior to your vacation or long weekend— and throughout the dog days of summer.

Here are some tips to help me focus that I’ve collected and honed along the way.  Perhaps they’ll work for you too.

  • Make a to-do list of all of the things that need to get done at least a week before you leave.
  • Sort your list by due date. This will allow you to focus on the items that absolutely need to get done. 
  • Go for quick wins.  With a week’s lead time you’ll be able to knock a little off your list each day. 
  • Make sure you check off completed tasks.  The sight of checks next to completed tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and motivation. Any task completed, is a task you no longer have to worry about.
  • Most importantly, ask yourself: Are you a morning person or do you power through in the afternoon?  Depending on your make up, schedule the most critical tasks at the most productive hours to maximize your effort.

Your supervisor and coworkers will appreciate the work you put in to make your absence seamless —and you’ll be free to enjoy the time away (and your hot dog) without the worry of catching up when you return to the office. Now, pass the catsup.