5 Top Tips for Avoiding Pre-Holiday Stress

It’s almost time for the schools to break up and thousands of us to take off on our annual summer holiday. Is the anticipation of the holiday you have been planning for months matched by panic about not getting everything done at work, forgetting to pack something essential or turning up at the airport on the wrong day.  When you have as much as this on your mind, it is easy to slip into panic mode and we all know very little is achieved when that happens.

Of course, there are some people who don’t seem to experience pre-holiday stress but, in our experience, the majority suffer from it to some degree. What you are worrying about will vary from person to person but the tactics for banishing the worry are applicable to all.

Our five top tips for avoiding pre-holiday stress should help to make the days leading up to your holiday a far less painful time.


Regardless of how fantastic your time management and organisational skills are (if they need work, we are running a course from 10th July) you are likely to find that it is difficult to get absolutely everything done before you turn on your out of office message and set off on your travels.

This is fine.

You don’t need to do everything on your lengthy to-do list, but you need to do the important tasks.

Prioritising your work will let you see what absolutely must get done and what can wait until you get back, or be delegated to a colleague.  Be strict with yourself – what really must get done before you leave?


That prioritisation activity leads us nicely on to our next stress-avoidance technique – delegation. Nobody is a super-hero and there is no shame in passing tasks to a colleague. Once you have decided what is most important sort into those tasks which you must do yourself and those which can be delegated.

Next, for each task, decide who can help you, who would benefit from helping you and who would appreciate more experience? Either ask someone in your office or delegate to an outside organisation (we hear there’s a great company called cushion the impact which can help here!)

Go Easy on Yourself

We know it is very tempting to work straight through in an attempt to get everything done before you leave but it doesn’t help. Working for too long will leave you tired, unmotivated and unproductive. Take regular short breaks to refresh your mind and renew your energy, even five minutes to grab a cup of tea or walk around the office can make a considerable difference. 

Avoid Distractions

Many of us are torn on our last day of work before a holiday – one on the hand, we don’t want to finish as much work as possible but, on the other, we (and I know it’s not just me!) are already mentally on holiday and don’t really feel like focusing on work.

Sadly, as we are still at work, we do need to get things done. While you are in that pre-holiday mood, you will be more easily distracted than normal so make sure to remove anything which could be used as a procrastination tool.

Switch your mobile phone to silent and put it in a drawer; turn off your email notifications; use an application to block your access to Facebook, Twitter – whatever it takes to make you work, do it!

Create Another To-Do List

We know we have just told you to delegate your work, but it is time to create a new to-do list. This is not one to get done during work time (and it is definitely not one to be used as a procrastination tool!) but making a note of everything you need to pack and do before you travel will make your preparation a lot more pleasant. Whether you prefer to jot your ideas on a sheet of paper, type a note on your smart phone a checklist makes everything easier.

If you have developed your own strategies for coping with pre-holiday stress, we would love to hear from you.  Please leave a comment or drop us a line to let us know how you manage that dreaded last day in the office.

cushion the impact  provides award winning personal and virtual assistance and customised lifestyle management for hard working and hard living individuals and small business owners.  We know there aren’t enough hours in the day, so let us help you live an organised, efficient, & fulfilling life. Take a deep breath & call us today.  Your personal service awaits!!

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