If I knew the answer I would be a genius, but it is always something that I have struggled with while we have been running Bronco and in previous jobs. I have been back at work a week now, after being in Amsterdam for a week at the A4UExpo and the Casino Affiliate Conference. Even though I was regularly checking my emails and staying in touch with the office there is a limit to the amount of work that you can do, especially when I am used to working pretty much flat out from 9am – 5pm (eating a sandwich as I carry on normally), with a bit extra on an evening once the kids are in bed and sorted.
We have another week off work coming up as we take our annual weeks holiday in the sun to coincide with the kids half term… this is the only time during the year where we get a decent break from work. Not only have I been catching up with work while I have been away, I am now in preparation mode for when we are away again. It seems that in this 24-7 society you are expected to respond immediately and accurately to every question night and day. I do, if I can, try to avoid answering emails at the weekend or on an evening but often I feel that its best to get it done as it will save me time the next day. The downfall of this is being expected to handle a huge amount of work where you are always stretched. This is the case in any job, and even before Bronco when I was a Purchasing Manager, if there was no one who could cover your role while you were away you end up doing loads before you go and loads after, to the point where you question if the holiday was actually worth it! It is of course worth every bit of extra work to get a whole week away with Dave and the kids.
So my plan is to keep well organised at work (like making sure the wages are paid and the kitchen is well stocked) and at home and as a bit of a control freek I already have the kids clothes laid out on the spare bed ready to pack a week on Friday. I then keep adding to the pile when I find things like the european plug adapters, my spare hair straighteners and the battery charger for the camera. I still can’t find the European TomTom yet but that will turn up no doubt.
Then my plan to catch up when I get back from holiday will be similar to this last week at work after Amsterdam, which has been an aim to stay focused on the tasks and proposals that needed doing, and keeping a structured list. I have also had to deal with the interest generated for the company after the conferences so extra items to add to the list.
If there is a really good way to catch up when you have been away I’d be interested in any ideas or tips – as long as it doesn’t involve getting someone else to do the work as that doesn’t apply!