by Matt Alderton | November 24, 2015
If you're like most working Americans, one thing you're thankful for this Thanksgiving is having Thursday and Friday off from work. At least, you would be thankful -- if you weren't too worried about falling behind to enjoy it.
"Does the thought of taking time off this coming week (or over the next couple of weeks) make you cringe?" Carson Tate, founder of management consultancy Working Simply, asks on LinkedIn. "I challenge you to think again: Taking this time off can be the most productive thing you do … Studies show that not taking regular breaks can increase your risks of heart disease, depression, and even premature death. Having just a few days away from work can make you more productive and creative, as well as boost performance."

To make the most of your time off this Thanksgiving weekend, you've got to erase the stress you feel about work piling up while you're gone. To do that, Tate suggests booking a special "catch-up" meeting with yourself for Monday morning.

"Block the first morning and if possible the whole first day you are back in the office to collect, process, and organize emails; return phone calls; connect with colleagues; and get clear and current," she says.

Also, clear the deck before you leave the office on Wednesday, if you can. "Identify the three to five projects and/or tasks that must be completed prior to the holiday break," Tate concludes. "For all of the remaining projects and tasks, make a note of their status and then write down the next action step you need to take upon returning from your holiday vacation. If you do this step before you leave, it will make for a much easier, smoother reentry."

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