I travel quite a bit, mostly for pleasure, and I’m often asked how I get back into “work” mode when I return from my trips.
Because I travel at least once a month, my trips are typically 3-5 days so not long enough to get out of my groove and it’s actually quite easy for me to get back into my business mindset. In fact, upon my return I actually go straight from the airport to my office and power out a few hours of work before I even unpack my bag.
Once or twice a year I do take a 1-3 week vacation and for those I have a specific plan I follow so that I can enjoy my time away and not stress about what didn’t get done.
I call it my EXIT STRATEGY, and I
Create a list of the top 3 priorities I want done before I go on my trip
Ask my assistant to give me a “what I need from you before you leave” checklist
Put files I want to work on while I’m on the plane onto a thumb drive or on my laptop
Set my vacation email auto responders and voice mail
This system works well and I’m able to go away and not worry about much of anything that’s related to my business. I have a great team in place and they can handle just about anything that comes up.
You can easily follow this system and enjoy your time off instead of worrying about what you didn’t get done. There will always be work to do so focus only on what’s necessary. Anchor
But recently I had a different type of vacation; I had my very first staycation.
You know, where you stay close to home but you’re on vacation.
It never really sounded that intriguing to me; I live on an island in paradise, I love my small house, and a beautiful beach is only a 10 minute drive so I’ve never really felt the need to stay just a few miles away. Plus I have dogs and I’d have to find doggie-sitters; it all sounds more of a hassle than a luxury.
However, 20 of my friends and relatives recently flew out to Hawaii for 10 days to help my husband and I celebrate our anniversary with a vow renewal.
I knew that while my friends and family were playing around I would not be able to be present with my clients and with my work so why try to fight it right?
So I rented a beach house for 8 days and then we checked into a hotel in Waikiki for 3 days.
Honestly, it didn’t really occur to me that I would be on a real vacation and the problem was that I didn’t prep for this staycation like I had for all of my other trips and vacations!
So when I stepped back in my office I just stood there with a blank look on my face, staring at my white boards that still had the same things written on them from before I left.
Because I didn’t follow my exit strategy system before I took my staycation I didn’t have a plan on where to start upon my return.
So I did what I always do when I feel stuck, MINDMAP!
I pulled out my dry-erase markers and got to writing on my master white-board wall.
Fortunately, the constant through all of this is my weekly check-in with my assistant and between our check-in and the “loose ends” mind map I created I was able to get back on track pretty quickly.
It did take me longer to get back on track than it usually does and that just goes to show that when you have a system in place that works well, don’t forget about it!
You have to take off the blinders and open up to a broader perspective in order to see that what works in one area can very well work in another.