Three Steps to Double your Productivity with Vacations
You've no doubt experienced the super-effectiveness that happens when you are getting ready to go on vacation. Somehow, that day before vacation becomes your most productive of the year. You know what has to be done, you have tightly time-framed the doing of it and you are in action until it is finished. So, the answer to the question, "How can I be more productive in this year?"
TAKE MORE VACATIONS!
Okay, okay ... yes, you do have to do the work in order to be able to do that, but I am not entirely kidding here. The first thing I ask my coaching clients to do when they are creating their yearly business plans is to put in those vacations and days off. Have you planned for your time off this year? If not, pull out your calendar right now and enter those days off, whether it is a three-day weekend every month or a month's cruise or vacation, or perhaps two or three two-week vacations. Whatever your vision is of how you'd enjoy all that money you are going to make this year, it should be in writing! Then, you work your plan around this.
Just knowing you will be getting a reward for your hard work might motivate you to work a little harder or in a more focused manner. And, the vacations, if taken on a regular basis will begin to give you the rejuvenation and balance that everyone needs if they are working hard. It's putting gas back into the gas tank. When you are rested, your focus and effectiveness improve. So, you'll benefit, not only by having a super-effective day, before you go, but also having focused, effective days when you get back. This actually will also work even if you don't leave town, but just "check out" and pretend you are off somewhere. For instance, you could stay home in your jammies all day and read a book, take a bubble bath and write notes or call old friends.
You can Learn from the Three Steps you Take on that Day Before Vacation
1. Know what has to be done.
2. Have tightly time-framed the doing of it.
3. Stay in action until it is finished.
This is a great recipe for determining how to be more effective in your normal, day to day, activities.
Know What has to be Done
Do you prioritize at the beginning of each day the activities that are going to be the highest payoff activities that day? They may not be the most pressing--like taking care of that high maintenance client who is whining. Rather, activities like going to lunch with the person that referred you the most business last year or planning your mailings to your farm for the next 12 months, so you know what you are going to send and when and it is only a matter of implementation on the given date. What actions today will be in line with you achieving your goals for the year?
Have Tightly Time-Framed The Doing Of It
At the beginning of each week and then each day, make sure those high payoff activities are on your calendar. It's like having an appointment with yourself. If they aren't written down or entered in, chances are something less important will slip in and eat up your productive time. We sleaze out on our promises to ourselves when we would never do that with someone else. Be true to your highest purpose and vision.
Are in Action Until It Is Finished
Even if it takes staying a little later at the end of the day, get those priorities done. You'll feel better about yourself and see the results that an extra 30 minutes can make. Hopefully, most of the time, knowing your priorities and setting aside the time on the calendar will suffice, but this added step of not stopping until it is done will give you the final piece or power. It will also enable you to start the next day with fewer undone projects.
If you think of yourself as a procrastinator, this one may be hard for you to discipline yourself to do. You have developed some bad habits of leaving things partially done or not getting to them. First, notice if your internal dialogue is undermining you. Then stop saying awful things about yourself. Become conscious that this internal dialogue is disempowering and consciously re-program it. By regularly implementing steps one and two, your self-confidence and pride will shift to a more powerful internal belief system (BS). Ask yourself if your current BS is sabotaging your efforts or does it make you feel great about yourself?
Be poised for a fun and wonderful year. Schedule those vacations and time off now and then work like each day is the day before a vacation! You'll be glad you did.
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