Preparing for a Stress-Free Vacation From Work

If you’re like many accounting professionals, you have Excel spreadsheets, financial reporting requirements and year-end accruals dancing in your head. Indeed, just because it’s not “busy season” doesn’t mean you’re not busy — too busy to take a vacation from work, you might think.

But that can be short-sighted. A vacation from work allows you to recharge your physical and emotional batteries, disconnect from everyday concerns, and return to work rested and refreshed. In fact, in a survey commissioned by our company, half of executives said employees are more productive after a vacation than before one.

So, how can you find some time to take off without climbing the walls when you return to work? Here are three tips:

1. Find some help

Ask colleagues to handle your projects while you’re away, and offer to do the same for them when you return. Meet with those who will be filling in for you to alert them to upcoming tasks and deadlines. Explain processes and procedures and make sure they know where key files are kept. If you cannot find colleagues to cover you, consider working with a specialized staffing firm to bring in temporary accounting professionals. These workers can keep things running smoothly while you and your coworkers take a much-deserved vacation from work.

2. Give the gift of good email maintenance

Dreading the mountain of post-vacation email that awaits you? To avoid sifting through hundreds of messages, take advantage of “rules” that allow you to sort them. Most email programs offer this function. For example, you may designate daily IT updates to the Deleted Items folder since the content will be irrelevant by the time you return. Or you might set up rules that direct emails from certain contacts to the people who will be covering for you so nothing slips through the cracks while you’re away. 

3. Make a clean break

This might be the most important tip: Give yourself the ability to truly relax by unplugging. If you must check in, provide specific times that you’ll be available, and limit your accessibility to those times.

If you come back from your break rested, you'll be better prepared to take advantage of any opportunities that emerge in the coming year.

Be sure to download your free copy of our annual Salary Guide for accounting and finance professionals so you can set competitive pay levels for new hires and existing staff in the new year.