How to take time off (and not deal with work)


It’s officially summer 2021 and a lot of us feel like this is the first time we can break out and go do something. We all had a crazy 2020 and it’s time that each of us gets a little break. It’s the season for vacations so here are some tips for taking time off and not worrying about what’s happening at work.


You have the vacation time and you’re ready for a getaway. As soon as you know the dates you’ll be out of office, communicate with your team. Mark it on your calendar, bring it up in team meetings, make sure everybody knows ahead of time you will be out and when. That way, the office can plan accordingly to cover the work you are responsible for.


Your dates are confirmed, so it’s time to prioritize your responsibilities and plan for your absence. Do you have anything on your calendar already that you need to reschedule? Who will cover some of your responsibilities while you’re gone? Think about your daily tasks and how you might handle those. Something as simple as setting up and scheduling an “Out of Office” reply takes care of daily email while you’re out. This little message shows you plan ahead, you’re transparent and you know the importance of communication.

What tasks should be completed before you go? Once you get back? We all have deadlines… what do you need to accomplish, send off, schedule, etc. so you won’t have to step away from your relaxation time to work. All the tasks that need to be done will be done, and all the deadlines will be met. Forecast what tasks might be coming in. If you are working to get some things sent out that may be time sensitive, be sure to copy the co-worker that will cover this area while you’re gone. Let them know what they should be expecting and how to proceed.

Vacation Time

What is a vacation? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Vacation is:

  • 1: a period spent away from home or business in travel or recreation
  • 2a: a scheduled period during which activity (as of a court or school) is suspended
  • 2b: a period of exemption from work granted to an employee

Read that again.

That means you SHOULD NOT be doing any work when you are vacationing. Turn off those email notifications, silence your Slack or Teams, and do not answer calls! The reason you are away is to rejuvenate and refresh. Unless there is an absolute business emergency that ONLY you can handle… you should not hear from your co-workers!*

*Remember that for when your co-workers are on vacation too!

It’s your time! 

You are using valuable paid time off to spend the way you want. It’s important to communicate and plan for your absence so nothing gets lost or dropped when you’re gone; so you don’t have to do any work when you are OFF; and so you aren’t completely overwhelmed when you get back. Time to yourself can do wonders for your mind, body, and spirit. Take full advantage of the time you are given.

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Emily Hedrick is the Media Director for Insightful Accountant. She handles webinar set up and facilitation, ad and content creation, customized social media, graphics, online marketing, and evaluating analytical results and more. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations from Auburn University. When not working, Emily loves to listen to bluegrass music and play outside with her dog, Banjo. Emily always dreamt of going away to a big college, and landed in Auburn, Alabama in August of 2011. Building on her interests of communication and business, she found the public relations major as well as a passion for female education, leadership, and sustainability. In December 2016, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and was ready for another adventure. Emily began working as The Communicator for Best Gurl, inc. in January 2017. She has collaborated in strategic planning to promote Best Gurl products and services; created an editorial calendar, reinvigorated the social media platforms, planned marketing campaigns, and reworked and published a new company website. In March 2019, Emily began working as a project and communications consultant. She currently works with companies and organizations like Best Gurl inc., The National Association of Branch Campus Administrators, Wanda's Clocks and Trophies/ B&M Engraving LLC, and the annual Women Empowering Women Symposium hosted by the American Business Women's Association, Emerald Coast Chapter. When not working, Emily loves to listen to bluegrass music. Every Memorial Day weekend you can catch her back in her hometown, volunteering at DelFest, a bluegrass festival hosted by Del McCoury and family.