Aside from knowing vacations aren’t a thing for PMs. How does one burn some time off without keeping tabs on things? (I don’t have an assistant yet)

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If you have a strong PM team + Account partner, this shouldn’t be an issue or concern. Your teammates can help you where needed. I think most PMs overstate their contributions. If you plan your projects properly/efficiently, resource effectively, and have a strong and trusted relationship with your team, you literally should be slow when your project is in flight; stepping in for reviews, deliverables and to put out fires. If you do things right, then there should be periods of downtime. Relax a little and let go of your control.

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Oops just coming back to this. I guess I am fortunate to work in a healthy environment. I was just out for my wedding & came back to everything being perfectly under control. I trusted the PM who covered for me & he delivered. I’ve also been at an agency that is overworked & crazy output with no downtime. I still vacationed and had strong coverage knowing I’d return the favor when someone else needed a break. Respect each other & time off happens. I just don’t buy excuses that people can’t take time off. If that’s truly the case you need a better team/leadership/expectations.

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...why are vacations not a thing for PMs? And what do you mean by assistant? You mean a coordinator or jr PM?

likesmart

My process is this: - Assign everything out to the team in an email. - Set up meetings before you leave to make sure there are no questions/knowledge gaps - Set up a meeting (before you leave) for a touch base on everything you assigned out so there’s time carved out to get caught up - Go on vacation and worry (less) It’s so hard not to worry about projects, but I’ve found the method above makes it as clear as possible for everyone involved

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This is weirdly worded. Like you want to go on vacation and not worry? Just assign the work, publicly. If it doesn't get done its because someone else didn't do their work then and it's their issue. You can pop into your emails to head off any issues but there shouldn't be an issue where if you take your hand off the wheel shit falls apart.

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Mostly this. Prepare a document with your projects, next steps, and owners of said next steps before your vacation. Email it to your team and even have a meeting about it if need be. Everyone is allowed to unplug. Even us. Even during "these times."

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It's ironic (stupid?) that if you take off and all goes to shit when you are away, you are viewed as essential. However, if you are highly skilled and have developed functional teams, processes and tools, and take off without much going wrong, you may be viewed as not essential. PMs, myself at times, may play into / perpetuate that.

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This right here. Alternatively, if I was managing a team of PMs and I was covering a direct report while s/he was out on vacation and everything started breaking down, my opinion of this person as a PM would change. It’s literally our job to anticipate fires and have contingency plans to tackle them when it comes up.

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Yes to all of these responses. Rely on your PM team and your brand counterparts. You can absolutely take time off. - Talk with your fellow PMs about who can help cover what / they’ll help you because A.) you’re a team and B.) they’ll be taking time off one day and want your help. - Make a hot sheet of things to look out for over the time you’re out, link to timelines and other relevant info. - Make sure your team is aware who will be covering. - Enjoy.

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Don’t forget to set an out of office reply with a list of who is covering what project. Then delete your email app.

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The world won’t end if you take time off...just plan as best you can and delete outlook from your phone that day/week

Yea leave my coverage doc, assign my projects, delete my mail app altogether. It’s my time, the work will be there when I get back. Life’s way more important than my projects 😂.

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