Making the most of this time of year


So many of our clients have told us what an absolute pleasure it is to take annual leave at this time of the year.

For some it’s just the fact of looking forward to taking a break from the demands of work, especially for some of our clients who we’ve assisted through difficult projects – managing long term workplace conflicts and major workplace restructures are some that spring to mind.

Others have mentioned the delight in coming back to work after a break in December/January, and not coming back to hundreds of unread emails sitting in the inbox.

We’re all well aware that annual leave is a valuable benefit that allows employees to take a break from the daily grind and recharge.  But it’s important to think about what we can do, and indeed encourage our teams to do – to make the most of our annual leave at this time of year and to set ourselves up with renewed energy and focus for 2024.

Here’s a few thoughts I’ll share with you:

Set yourself up to truly ‘unplug’ from work:

This will look different for everyone, depending on your role, seniority etc.  But recognise that it’s up to you to set clear boundaries for yourself, around your ‘contact-ability’ during your time off. 

Does your have a clear understanding of what an ‘urgent’ task/requirement is over this period, and what can be put on hold until everyone is back in 2024? 

Create a Bucket List:

Make a list of activities you’ve always wanted to do and places you’ve wanted to visit – and make it happen. Use this leave period as an opportunity to check off items from your bucket list, creating memorable experiences.  If not this year, then consider planning ahead for the end of 2024.

… and a To-Do List:

But also consider making a list of those pesky personal tasks you’ve had on your to-do list for a while but never seem to be able to get to.   Think about how good you will feel finally having these tasks checked off on your personal to-do list.

Don’t Underestimate Your Staycation Options:

Explore local attractions or take a “staycation” to discover hidden gems in your own city or region.  Visit museums, parks, or local events you may not have had time for during your regular day to day routine.

Invest in Self-Care:

Prioritise your mental and physical well-being to return to work feeling rejuvenated and ready to solve problems and tackle challenges. Use your leave to take some time for yourself to focus on self-care activities – whatever that may look like for you: bush walks, spa treatments, meditation, a round of golf with friends or along walk along the beach.

Quality Time with Loved Ones:

Spend quality time with family and friends, strengthening your personal connections.

Plan activities or trips that allow you to bond with people that are important to you and create lasting memories.

Reflect and Set Goals:

Use this period of leave for introspection and goal-setting.  Reflect on your achievements, reassess your priorities, and set yourself some professional and personal goals for 2024.

Lastly, don’t forget to look back and take stock of what you and your teams have achieved in 2023. Use this time to take a moment or two to acknowledge the wins and maybe even reflect on the learning opportunities.

I sincerely wish all our readers a wonderful break – one that allows you to incorporate a mix of relaxation, adventure, deeper connections, and personal development. 

Happy holidays!

Nick Hedges is the founder of Resolve HR, a Sydney-based HR consultancy specialising in providing workplace advice to managers and business owners. He recently published his first book, “Exiting underperforming Team Members – The Inside Scoop”. It is a practical response to the most pressing HR challenges, which can be found at

Disclaimer: The contents written do not constitute legal advice and does not cater for individual circumstances.   The information contained herein is not intended to be a substitute for legal advice and should not be relied upon as such.

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