I read this article in one of the aol pages. found it soooooo interesting and very much useful for many of us... hence didn't edit/modify/add any word in that article. and presenting it to you... do read completely....
"Your workload is growing, and it feels like there is not enough time in the day. You may be telling yourself a vacation is one luxury you can't afford. But the truth is that you can't afford not to take one.
A vacation allows you the opportunity to recharge your physical and emotional batteries, disconnect from everyday concerns, and return to work rested and refreshed. In fact, in a survey commissioned by Robert Half International, 51 percent of executives said employees are more productive after a vacation than before one.
To ensure your time away from the office is worry free, proper planning is required. Here are some tips:
Time it right. A Robert Half survey shows that executives consider July and August the most favorable months for employees to take a break. That's not simply because these months offer ideal beach weather -- many businesses slow down during this time of the year.
When planning your vacation, remember to take into account any activities that your department will be focused on during that time. For instance, if a big initiative is planned for the summer, you may consider postponing your trip until the fall.
Look to others for assistance. Ask trusted colleagues to handle your projects while you're away. Your supervisor can help you determine who is most qualified for a particular task. Also, provide your customers, boss and co-workers with a list of colleagues who will fill in for you. Include the list in your out-of-office e-mail and voice-mail messages, as well, so people have someone who can help them while you're away.
Consider planning a meeting with those who will be filling in for you to alert them to upcoming tasks and deadlines. Explain relevant processes and procedures and make sure they know where key files are kept.
Let your contacts know. Give colleagues and customers you frequently work with a few weeks' notice before you head off. This will give them enough time to plan for your absence.
If you take part in recurring meetings, make sure to decline them if they fall while you are on vacation. If you've organized a meeting, ask another colleague to lead it or cancel it so attendees know not to show up.
Leverage technology. One thing people dread when returning from vacation is the mountain of e-mail that often awaits them. To avoid sifting through hundreds of messages, take advantage of "rules" that allow you to sort incoming messages. Most e-mail programs offer this function. For example, you may designate daily IT updates to the Deleted Items folder since the content will be irrelevant by the time you return. Or you might set up rules that direct e-mails from certain contacts to the people who will be covering for you so nothing slips through the cracks while you're away.
Conduct a technical review. Before you leave, make sure there is plenty of room in your e-mail inbox so you don't exceed your storage limit while you're out of the office, which might prevent you from sending messages when you return. Also make sure passwords won't expire while you are gone. If you plan to work during your time off, ensure that you can use your laptop or BlackBerry from your vacation destination.
Limit contact with the office. If possible, pull the plug and leave your laptop, pager and files at home. If you have to call the office for a particular reason -- such as a conference call that requires your input -- don't let yourself be dragged into additional tasks. Limit your participation to essential items only.
Last but not least, try not to stretch yourself to the limit right before you head off.
While you may need to occasionally stay late to prepare for your vacation, don't leave everything for the final week, when you'll likely have other last-minute preparations to make. Knowing that everything has been taken care of well in advance will allow you to truly enjoy your time away from the office."