Some of you are about to leave for a well-deserved vacation in a few weeks. If the prospect of vacation is enticing, it can often generate a high dose of stress the few days before departure.
A disconnected vacation
In general, before leaving for two weeks, we want :
- To close certain files in progress,
- To inform our back-up (if we are lucky enough to have one)
- To notify colleagues, suppliers, customers, etc.
In short, we make sure we will be able to disconnect during our holidays. We try to leave our work at the office, without creating problems for our colleagues or ourselves when we return.
This is often when the last-minute issues (usually urgent) pop-up, or a major client launches a big tender or you realise you won’t be there for an important meeting…
The unexpected comes on top of what was already planned and create chaos in our personal organisation.
A special “Before Vacation” list
To bring some clarity to your organisation and be able to manage going on vacation in a serene way, there is nothing like planning a temporary list of tasks to be carried out absolutely before you leave on vacation.
This great idea is inspired by David Allen, author of “GTD, the art of stress-free productivity”:
“Before I go on a long trip, I will create a “Before Trip” as a temporary category into which I will move everything from any of my action lists the must be handled before I leave.”David Allen, Getting Things Done, the Art of Stress-free Productivity, P206
With this list, you have a specific place where you find what you really need to do before going on vacation. So you create clarity in your organisational system.
This clarity allows you to be more productive and more relaxed, reassured by this finite list of tasks to be carried out.
To make it work…
For this system to work, you need to indicate only what actually needs to be done before you go on vacation. If you start stating everything you would ideally like to do before you leave, it will only lead to more stress and inefficiency. You will not be able to rely on this list, not knowing how to distinguish between what must absolutely be done and the nice to have.
After all, if you’ve completed the tasks on this list, you can always do more with the time you have left and know that you’ve done what absolutely needed to be done.
It is also necessary that the actions to be taken are clearly expressed. It means you need to know exactly when they will be considered as completed.
Finally, do not hesitate to renegotiate your deadlines if a manager, colleague or client asks you to do something that is clearly not feasible before your departure. They are not necessarily aware of your workload and the scale of their request.
I strongly invite you to try this simple trick! It’s very easy to do and you will see – I have been doing it for exactly 9 years – that the week(s) before your vacation will be much more productive and relaxing and you will be able to enjoy your vacation from day one!
Tell me what you think 😉!