If you run your own business or freelance on the side, you’ll know that dropping work entirely while on holiday is easier said that done. Emails, finance and reactions to big problems are common occurrences for those of us who mix sunbathing with earning.
In this post, I’ve got 6 tips for remaining productive while on holiday. Each one has been tried-and-tested and is designed to ensure you can still chill out while keeping the business ticking over.
Grab your sun cream, sandals and laptop… and dig in!
1. Start before you leave
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your holiday destination with a head full of half-completed projects and a backlogged to-do list. It is therefore essential that, before you pack your bags, you do as much rounding off and house keeping as possible.
As your break nears, start working that to-do list. Complete any quick wins and defer stuff that can wait. Make sure customers, colleagues and partners know you’ll be away and ask them to only contact you in the event of an emergency.
2. Practice Inbox Zero
A clean email inbox is a clean mind, and if you start practicing Inbox Zero now, you’ll be set for a far more relaxed holiday come vacation time.
Inbox Zero is the process by which you systematically deal with all incoming email in a consistent fashion so that you always maintain a clean inbox. The last thing you want to be doing on holiday is sorting through a messy inbox, so get zeroing today!
3. Treat yourself
Holidays are all about treating oneself, and if you find that you have to spend half an hour addressing a business issue, reward yourself afterwards. While you’re toiling away, remind yourself that the pool bar is just a few feet away and there’s a refreshing beverage with your name on it once the work is done.
4. Use a to-do list
I’ve assumed in tip 1 that you use a to-do list, but if that advice left you scratching your head, it’s time for a wakeup call.
You need a to-do list. Even on holiday.
The to-do list you take with you should be shorter than when you’re in the office, but take a list of essential tasks you’ll need to complete while away and make sure you get to the bottom of it.
5. Maintain a daily routine
Holidays are usually a time when people can throw routine out of the window and get on with the serious business of having fun, and I’m not suggesting you change that one iota. All you need to do to remain productive is maintain a limited routine.
If email needs checking, do it once and at the same time each day. If you need to check your to-do list each day, schedule that in too. Routine is proven to work when it comes to productivity, so lean on it.
Ok, so you need to do a bit of work on holiday, but put things in perspective; you’ve got a unique opportunity to chill out while you do so. No colleagues wandering into your office, no ad-hoc meetings and the absence of a dress code.
Chill out. You’ll be more productive as a result.
Any productivity expert worth their salt will agree that it is more than possible to be productive while on the move, so don’t be put off by the prospect of being countless miles from your desk; follow the tips above to remain productive even when you’re recuperating.