Organization is important any time of year, but in my view it’s critical during the summer. Why? Because we’re trying to stay productive while also getting some well-deserved time off with friends and family.
Luckily, there are some easy and effective ways to get organized before summer arrives so you’re able to enjoy as much of it as possible—without fear or guilt.
Commit to Time Off
A recent survey by Glassdoor showed that only 23% of employees are taking all of their allowed time off. And even when they do, 66 percent work during vacation. Avoiding vacation leads to more stress, reduces your productivity, and is related to illness and premature death.
There’s never an ideal time to take vacation, so it’s best just to schedule your time off and commit to it. Once you’ve done that, it’s great motivation to get better organized so co-workers can manage without you, and you get time to truly relax and re-energize.
Try these tips to get things in order well before you head out the door.
- About three weeks before your vacation, spend a half-hour identifying projects you need to address or complete prior to leaving. Determine what’s crucial and what can wait until you return.
- Create a to-do list for each project, including specific actions and due dates. The more detailed the better. Writing these down improves the likelihood of getting them off your plate.
- Designate someone (or several people) to handle what you don’t finish and leave them detailed information or instructions.
- Delegate, postpone, or cancel meetings/appointments scheduled during your time off.
- Make a list of any possible issues that could happen during your vacation, and share it with your boss, your team, or relevant colleagues.
- Clean and organize your desk. Label important files and make sure your boss or co-workers can easily access them. What’s more, says workingmother.com, “a clean desk will help beat the back-to-work blues.”
- Make a to-do list for when you return to work. It will stop you from thinking about tasks waiting for you after vacation while you’re on vacation.
This kind of planning can help you avoid the panicked phone call from work during your down time or negative backlash when you return.
Assess Your Productivity
Prior to vacation can also be a good time to determine how effectively you’re working, even if you don’t implement anything until you get back.
When working with clients on how to get projects completed, I am often asked what the “most” effective way to complete a project is: setting aside a big chunk of time to dive deep or chipping away at it a bit at a time.
My answer: BOTH are effective.
With that said, many people THINK they need a BIG chunk of time to be effective when what they really need is 1) a way to get clear on a smaller piece to chip away at and 2) a process that helps them get started quickly.
This begins with chunking the project into pieces and planning time in your calendar to do each specific piece. The key here is to make an appointment with yourself and state exactly what you will do during that time.
For example, if your project after vacation is writing the monthly client newsletter, you could schedule:
- A half hour on a Monday to “write the outline of this month’s newsletter;”
- A half hour on Tuesday to “write Section 1 promoting an upcoming program;”
- A half hour on Wednesday to “write Section 2 on diving deep or chipping away;”
- A half hour on Thursday to “write intro pulling together Section 1 and Section 2.”
With each task identified and scheduled ahead of time, it is easier to stop once that piece is completed and start on the next piece without having to review the whole project over again.
Learn Effective Time Management
Another great way to be productive is learning to effectively manage your time. If you’re ready to do more of the things you want to do and use your time to create the success you’ve always dreamed about, consider attending my Time Matters Boot Camp LIVE! 3-Day In-person Workshop happening outside of Boston, May 17-19, 2018!
Based on my WISE Living Formula, the Time Matters Boot Camp will teach you to:
- Understand your brain and how you need to honor what works for you so you can know that you have everything “handled,” finally relax, and trust yourself.
- Design a system that works for you so you can find the peaceful moments in your day and up-level your life and business…and stop being stuck in reactive, panic mode to get work done, kids ready, dog walked, etc. You’ll finally be able to ENJOY the pace of a comfortable schedule and a routine that fits your life and your goals. What could be sweeter?
- Use the time management system that works for you and have it become part of who you are. You’ll never have to totally re-invent your time management tools again!
Click the link below to reserve your space now!
I hope to see you there!
- You Probably Owe Yourself More Downtime - July 29, 2020
- Maximizing Certainty: How to Plan When So Much is Unsure - July 13, 2020
- What’s Interfering With Your Productivity This Summer? - June 30, 2020