Three Essential Holiday Planning Tasks for Leaders

How to effectively plan for the holiday break

Wendy Scott


Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

The holiday season is fast looming, and it’s time to get organized at home and work.

At home, planning is all about buying presents, getting that pine tree up, and agreeing on who will host Christmas Day.

You have to plan for the holidays at work, too, and it’s more than what to buy Fred in accounts for Secret Santa. You have to finish this year’s work and get set up for next year.

And in the flurry of the holiday season, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

When I managed high street stores in retail, I worked until the store closed on Christmas Eve. It was a fun workday, especially when I managed a costume jewelry shop. I was in the UK, so the weather was cold and Christmassy, sometimes with a bit of snow, but always that lovely crisp smell of winter.

By 11.00 am, the store was chock full of men, frantically throwing money at us in exchange for sparkling diamante necklaces and earrings. It was fun, fast, and festive.

After work, getting home to my family meant a 2-hour evening train journey in the dark, laden with presents. I remember being jealous of people in offices who knocked off early and who I assumed spent December in an orgy of pub lunches and Christmas parties.

I never imagined being stuck in the office alone at 4 pm finishing a report on Christmas Eve. But one year, I was because of a lack of planning.

If you want to make sure you aren’t the one working late or worse, during the holidays, make sure you cover these three things:

Holiday cover

You’ve probably already organized the holiday roster, so your team is covered.

But have you checked people in other teams you rely on for information, reports, or input?

I’ve seen the abject look of horror on a colleague’s face when they realize their project has just gone pear-shaped because an essential contributor has left the office for a month.

For any work due before the beginning of February, ensure you can get any input you need to complete it.



Wendy Scott

L&D professional writing practical, step-by-step leadership and training & development articles to help leaders, managers & trainers grow their careers.