See more tips
(Continued from page 1)
Make the most of performance time and down time. As you work toward your vacation, it will be very important that you not respond to the demands of the day reactively. In other words, you can’t satisfy the various demands of the day as they are presented, spending whatever time is needed to respond without giving any thought to the relative value of the activity. You have to use your time wisely.
Keep control of your day through time-blocking. Basically, you block your day into three kinds of blocks—strategic blocks, buffer blocks and breakout blocks. A strategic block is uninterrupted time that is scheduled into each week. During this block, you accept no phone calls, no faxes, no emails, no visitors, no anything. Buffer blocks are designed to deal with all of the unplanned and low-value activities—like most email and voicemail—that arise throughout a typical day, while breakout blocks provide free time for you to use to rest and rejuvenate.
“Breakout blocks bring up an important point,” notes Moran. “Even in the frantic rush leading up to a vacation, you should allow yourself some down time. Always working longer and harder kills your energy and enthusiasm. Even before your vacation you need to schedule time to refresh and reinvigorate, so you can continue to engage with more focus and energy.”
Isolate yourself from modern-day distractions. In our modern world, technology can be a major distraction. When you’re focused on executing your prevacation plan, don’t let smartphones, social media and the Internet distract you from higher-value activities.
“Some spontaneity is healthy, but if you are not purposeful with your time, you’ll get thrown off course,” Moran explains. “Allow yourself to get distracted by emails, social media or the latest viral video while you’re working your prevacation plan, and before you know it, you’ll be on your vacation, stuck in your hotel room working on the project you didn’t finish while your family is playing on the beach. Learn to isolate yourself from distractions when there is important work to be done.”
Make a keystone commitment when you start your vacation. As Moran and Lennington explain, many of their clients set a 12- week goal in a certain area—say, getting fit. Then they build a 12 week plan around it with a handful of tactics like “do 20 minutes of cardio three times a week,” “train with weights three times a week” and so forth. But the other option is to again set a 12-week goal but, rather than building a tactical plan, identify a keystone or core action and commit to completing it every day for the next 12 weeks. It’s this second option that can help you make the most of your vacation.
“Your keystone commitment might be making breakfast for your family every morning—something you don’t get to do during a normal work week,” suggests Moran. “Or you might commit to taking a walk on the beach every day with your spouse. Or to going on a one-on-one adventure with each of your kids before the week is up.
“Setting a keystone commitment helps you avoid wasting your time on meaningless activities—like sleeping too late every day,” he adds. “Remember, your pre-vacation plan was all about spending your time with great intent and purpose so that you’d be able to have a great vacation. Why should you stop being more purposeful with your time once you’re actually on vacation? Think about the difference these relatively simple commitments can make to you and your family!”