Stay focused prior to vacation

The sun is poking out from behind the clouds here and there, and the winter months are behind us (for the most part).

It has been pointed out that we will probably see one or two more snowfalls before spring is truly here, but we're close. Every working woman out there is most likely experiencing some form of "itis" whether it be "springitis," "vacationitis," or perhaps even "summeritis" already.  And, oh my goodness, is it hard to concentrate at work.

Dancing around in your mind are thoughts of getting outside, soaking up the sun, and, for some, where they will be vacationing in the upcoming weeks. As a manager or coworker, it is obvious when someone has checked out of reality because they will be on vacation the next week. Sometimes it is so painfully obvious you want to tell them to leave now.

Even though your body is at work, your brain is most likely not thinking about work. Here are some tips from the experts on how to stay focused prior to a vacation.

1. Start every morning looking at and prioritizing your list of tasks for the day.  


2. Utilize your calendar to the maximum and include your goals and projects on it to help stay focused.

3. Create a master list (which you probably already have) and a "to do" list. The master list should hold all your projects, while the "to do" list will be the list of tasks you should complete daily.

4. Use your computer at work for work and leave vacation plans on the computer at home.

5. Remember that time is a precious commodity and needs to be used effectively; schedule it wisely.

Let's see what the working women around Rochester do to keep themselves focused and productive during the "itis" season.

• "I do not want to leave lots of loose ends at my desk before vacation — so I challenge myself to get everything finished. I also endeavor to send an update message to all staff that I interface with about the status of my work so if clients call — no one is in the dark. This way I can ENJOY my time off and not worry about a big mess to go back to."  

• "I stay focused by knowing what I have to get done before I leave, of course I am a stickler for making sure things are done, so I don’t have to worry about what I am coming back to. Don’t get me wrong, it is very hard to concentrate when you are excited about your vacation, but it makes it a whole lot more relaxing when you know you have everything done before you leave."

• "What gives me that motivation is telling myself if I don’t get stuff done now I will have that much more stuff to do when returning! Coming back from vacation is never fun because of the amount of work that did not get done while you were gone."


• "I stay focused by thinking of the workload ahead of me when I return, and I feel that a vacation will actually feel like a vacation if all of my work is done before I go."

• "It is very easy to be distracted with online access to travel sites, etc. so I try to get most of my "daydreaming" out of the way by spending a decent amount of time every night preparing and planning for my trip. That way, during the day, I’m so burned out on vacation planning activity it is less of a distraction. I use my home e-mail as my contact information for my travel plans, so mid-day reminders and communications about the trips are minimized."

• "The day before vacation, it is almost a given that your mind will wander. That particular day, I plan less activity during the afternoon so there is time to put together an e-mail of the things that need to be taken care of while I’m gone."

Now you have five different ways, from locals to the experts, to stay focused and productive prior to a vacation. Remember that you can set a good example for your peers and coworkers by staying focused on completing your tasks. By getting your projects done, your coworkers and managers will appreciate you, and you will be able to take full advantage of your time away from work for relaxation and rejuvenation. 

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