"Vacation begins in 8 hours. I owe it to myself and my company to stay productive and get some things done before I leave."
This is the dilemma many people face before leaving on a vacation. It is one I face right now, which is why I am starting out the morning diligently writing a blog post.
You've been planning and waiting for this vacation for weeks, months, possibly years and now it is just one workday away. It's hard to focus on your work with so much excitement in the air. It's been tough to focus all week but the final day is like you've been searching through the desert and your oasis is only one dune away.
VACATION!!! Your long lost friend is only hours away. How can you stay productive when you feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve? Here are a few tips to help keep you focused on the task at hand.
1. Don't think about your vacation destination constantly.
Whether it is a beach resort, a villa on a mountain, your couch, or like me, a cabin on a lake, you don't want to be thinking about lounging around with a cocktail. You shouldn't be thinking about going for boat rides, playing in the sun, or reading your new book as the sun slowly sets behind the mountains. It's just too distracting. Before you know it a couple hours have passed and you've only written a few short paragraphs.
2. Don't write and turn on your "Away" autoreply email days before .
Yes, you are going to be away from Aug. 13-23 but that's no reason to start announcing it on auto-reply on August 1. There may be a good reason that someone is emailing you in the weeks before your vacation. It may be confusing if they receive an Out-of-Office email from you a week before you are actually out of the office. "Set it and forget it" usually isn't the best option for Out-of-Office emails.
3. Don't plan your vacation meals while eating lunch at your desk.
Yes, there's that great place on the water that you want to have dinner. And, of course, you want to get delicious meats to grill from that awesome smokehouse nearby. Then, there's all the delicious fruits and vegetables from the farmstand on the NY/VT border. And the goat cheese place! All this kind of thinking will do is make you not want to eat the bologna and cheese sandwich that staring you in the face. Non-vacation meals will seem boring and less attractive and you need that energy for VACATION!!!
4. Don't watch the clock.
2:40 pm, 2:40 pm, 2:40 pm, 2:40 pm, 2:41 pm - Hooray one minute closer! It's frustrating slow, especially if it's digital. You see with a conventional clock, there's the second hand which moves pretty quickly but with a digital, it takes for ever for the minute to change. Nothing you do- jedi mind/clock trick, irradiated remote control with Time FF button- will get the clock to move any quicker. Believe me, if you just keep focused on daydreaming working, the clock will move on its own accord.
5. Don't think about your vacation destination constantly.
It's going to be a blast and you can't wait to leave. But don't forget you have a job to do. Daydreaming about your vacation is a great way to forget things you've already written and repeat them. This makes you look silly to people who may be reading what you've wrote but WHO CARES? Did I mention VACATION is quickly approaching?!!!!
6. Schedule stuff to happen while you're gone.
Sorry, the world doesn't shut down while you are on vacation. Everybody else is still going through their daily grind while you're drinking mimosas at 10 am. To make them miss you less, schedule blogs, social media, emails to be sent out while you are away. This will distract most people from the fact that you aren't answering their emails or phone calls and show that you are being productive even on vacation. Even though you wrote and scheduled it the week before.
7.Don't forget to tie up loose ends.
4:55 pm. You've made it to the end of your workday. Hopefully you've gotten some things accomplished but don't forget to finish up the easy things. You want a clean slate when you get back. You don't want people calling and emailing you while your on vacation about an unfinished blog po