Work It Wednesday today is the middle of the work week – you are at the peak and headed down the “easier” side tomorrow, right?  Be sure to spend today focused on all the little tasks you have around you to do – use this time wisely to be productive so that the rest of the work week IS easier.  Return phone calls, do filing (I have a 10 inch pile of filing myself), finish up emails – the goal today is to clear off as much of the pesky stacking up tasks as you can!

This past weekend was a “long holiday” weekend and a lot of us were on vacation – for me I went from Jury duty on Thursday right into the long weekend and now have to “catch up”! It has always been a double edged sword to “take time off” of work.  You work so hard, you not only need a break you deserve a break – but you know that everything you do everyday will just back up and stack up on you so when you return to work all the relaxing you did has turned into balls of stress – sound familiar?

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Take Time to Breath!

EVERYONE NEEDS A VACATION OR TIME OFF FROM WORKthat is not in question.  You have to take time off and enjoy life as you are in it!  You know how people say

“Let’s wait to have children until we are ready for it” or “Let’s get married when we can afford it” – guess what you are never truly ready and you can never really afford it – best laid plans and they usually happen on their own schedule, right and you make it through it.  People who say “I am going to work work work now so I can play play play later after it is all set” fall into the same category – if you spend ALL of your time working now you are not living and with health issues popping up, families moving apart, and time speeding by you cannot count on the things you want to enjoy to be there or you be in a state to enjoy them later.  Find a way to balance – hard work now and vacation/relaxing time now!

Steps to take to prepare for a vacation from work…

  • Let people know as you are speaking with them, that you have a scheduled time off of work coming up and make plans with them accordingly.  Be sure when “scheduling” work things for your return you do not over book yourself trying to accommodate the time away.  Be realistic.
  • Set up an “out of office” notice in your email program to notify people you received their email but are not at work and will catch it when you return.  You might leave a contact number of someone who can help you or at least reach you if there is an emergency.
  • When you have time off coming up – do not over burden yourself trying to get everything in before you leave – prioritize and again be realistic – work your way into your vacation time as well.
  • Blog posts – pre-plan them and schedule them (I did not do so good on this one but working on it! Everything is a work in progress)
  • Get any needed invoices prepared and sent out prior to leaving.  Don’t let your vacation time keep you from collecting revenue.
  • Get your inbox as organized as you can prior to leaving.

Returning to work, steps you can take to catch up easily…

  • If at all possible add one extra day into your vacation at the end, really you have returned home but no one else needs to  know that – this is your “clean up” time – you can sort through mail, sort through email and get a great look at what is needing to be done and begin to sort through it, organize it, set up your Tickler File with a productive plan of action.
  • Do emails first – clean out the inbox, delete junk mail – replay to any outstanding items (if your email program has a “scheduler” like Outlook, schedule them to go out the morning you are known to be back in the office, unfortunately Gmail does not offer this yet)
  • Jump back in slowly – be realistic of what you can get completed and do not expect more from yourself – why take time off to relax if you are just going to stress yourself out when you return?
  • Plan a “production” meeting with the people that were “helping” while you were gone – team members, assistants, staff and get caught up on the status of things – take notes before reacting, take in all of the input and then go back and find a workable plan of action for any outstanding items.
  • Share your vacation/get-away status with others – use social media to announce you are back and share some info form your trip or time off – sound rejuvenated and positive, get people interacting with you and let them share in your experiences.
  • Re-establish your productive working program and get back to being organized!

It is becoming more and more common for people to not even take one annual vacation/time off  let alone schedule them regularly.  And when people do finally take a vacation or time off of work, they bring work to do with them – this is so sad.  We need to remember our “work” even if it is our company/business does not define us.  How we  live does!  (think about it, what are you teaching your children, or the youth as well – they don’t matter only work stuff does?)

There are several benefits to taking time off of work…

  • Time off of work Combats burnout
  • Time off or work promotes well being – mentally and physically
  • Time off of work and spent with family & friends creates stronger bonds and sets up memories for life!
  • Time off of work can help with your overall productivity – taking time away allows you to come back with fresh eyes

Don’t let work or your business take over your life – get out and live a little.  Remember to reward yourself for completing “goals” “intentions” “promises” and setting up time off can be one of those rewards you are working towards.  Try not to set your “get away” plans too far apart – they can be as simple as a weekend get away to as complex as a couple of weeks away – the importance is to take care of yourself and take time off!