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Vacation is the most anticipated time of the year for any employee. It’s the perfect opportunity to finally visit relatives, break away with friends or take a thrilling trip. And for people with the heaviest workloads, even the prospect of eating ice cream in front of the TV, like Kevin from Home Alone, sounds exciting.
However, there is one drawback, called… a pre-vacation period. As the seasons change, we face different challenging tasks: from fitting everything in our luggage to finding Christmas presents. What always accompanies us is loose ends at work. That’s not really the view you imagine when you say “vacation”, to put it mildly.
You can still rest easy. For the last problem, we want to help and give you five steps to manage your pre-holiday time in the most effective way. So come back from your vacation daydreams, put your travel or gift checklist aside, and let’s start.
Create a Task List
The ability to act effectively depends directly on the structure and content of your plan. When written right, it will reduce the chance of work mistakes, give you extra time and help you focus on your pre-vacation goals. Quite a few advantages! So let’s find out how to create it. Besides, all you need is FuseBase (formerly Nimbus).
Open your workspace, create a new page and list all the tasks you need to complete. Use either a simple Numbered list or an advanced Task list, where you can add labels, deadlines, assignee choices and mark completed tasks. Additionally, task forms are available in the sidebar and in the toolbar in the upper right corner of the page.
To make your plan more organized, use FuseBase Templates, which can be found in the side menu. You can choose one main database or create multiple documents for different areas. For example:
- Project Planner will help manage your teamwork;
- Today’s Top Priorities will help you optimize a workflow;
- Grocery list will remind you what you need for your family dinner.
If you feel your plans are getting unwieldy, stop trying to fit everything into just a short period before vacation. Step down your goals and make your task list a minimal set of the most important actions. If you spend more time putting together a great plan, it will take you less time to start and complete the tasks themselves.
Rate Your Strength
Don’t spread it on thick. Trying to do everything drains your personal resources and leaves you exhausted. Therefore, think carefully and make a choice for only those actions that will yield the best results. This approach will not only save you from a mental breakdown (which is very nice alone), but also allow you to do a few things really well, rather than many things with poor quality.
Start with the projects that have tight deadlines. Try to distribute them evenly, set reminders and don’t leave everything to Friday (as we all usually do). Organize your workload based on priorities. Depending on whether you’re a morning or a night person, choose a time to start the most important tasks when you are most productive. Assign less important ones to your employees.
Take a look at FuseBase Templates, search for ones with a calendar and copy everything you like to your note. You may also get inspired and create your own card with the table tool. Customize cells with the Single Select Type option and set high, medium or low priorities for each of your tasks.
Remember that everything cannot be prioritized. The common view holds: if you want to earn more money, work more. But this limits your ability to achieve more! You have to learn to give up a lot of things in order to reach the few most important ones. The fewer trackable goals and steps in your plan, the easier it is to complete.
Make Time for Your Team
If you go on holiday vacation with the whole team, everyone should spend time with their family. If your team is not yet your second family, fixing it is an important enough task to be on your pre-vacation to-do list. Besides, it is a reasonable way to reduce your workload and take a little break from business.
Whether your team works remotely or in the office, there’s entertainment for everyone:
- host a themed or classic office holiday party;
- plan cooking, drawing, gift wrapping, or another workshop on Zoom (make sure your employees have everything they need);
- volunteer at an animal shelter or assemble donation boxes for people in need;
- visit outdoor holiday light displays (you can even bring your family members);
- spread a holiday dinner at a restaurant, or order a meal for your team and hold a videoconference from home;
- join a charity marathon (actually, don’t wait for the holidays, this is something you can start doing every month).
We know that the pre-holiday period is always busy, but your team works hard to make all these overcoming problems much easier. Don’t take them for granted, and make sure you take the opportunity to strengthen your bond.
Value the Present
Dreams about the upcoming vacation can be very alluring. However, you are only effective when you are at the same place — both physically and mentally. It is when you live in the present. If you think about what is happening now, thoughts become clearer, choices easier and all tasks simpler.
This applies not only to the pre-vacation period but to working days as well. With a huge workload, we run from one meeting to another, talk on the phone on the go and constantly check our team email. Our time is wasted on different things and conversations, while important projects and people are set aside. Trying not to miss anything, we inevitably miss everything.
In fact, you don’t live in the future. You can’t act there, nor can you change the past. The current moment — “eternal now” — is all that you have. It is at this moment that you can start to influence what happens to you in the future. Your money and personal success are being achieved at this moment. Enjoy it here and now.
Evaluate Your Plan Implementation
A good plan contributes to successful implementation. Still, if at the first step you were worried that your plan was good but “not perfect”, right now there is an opportunity to correct it. Fulfilling the tasks will reveal what you are doing efficiently and what needs to be adjusted.
- Rate your productivity with one to five stars by applying the Rating type to the table’s cells in your FuseBase page.
- The Progress option here allows you to set the percentage rate of a project’s completion. This can also be used to keep track of linked tasks.
- If you don’t achieve the planned results, find out whether it was due to wrong actions or a mistake in the plan. Recognize the most common issues and factors that reduce your efficiency, and identify them using the labels.
You shouldn’t be hard on yourself if you don’t complete all tasks. We all force ourselves to work occasionally — it’s life. Fortunately, according to time management coaches, completing 85% of the tasks from our weekly plans allows us to accomplish our goals in some way. Strive for success, not perfection.
However, don’t be afraid to evaluate your work. Often we stop rating our productivity if we have had two bad days or weeks in a row. Don’t make this bad choice too. Your performance value shows that you are not acting. It’s frustrating but necessary in order to have a view to reach your goals and targets. So find the courage to keep going no matter what, acknowledge mistakes and reward yourself for achievements.
Get to the Point
Now you’re ready for the last push! There is no need to go back to your daydreams and ignore your workload, especially when you already know all the steps to get things done quickly and effectively.
Bring your plans and goals to life with FuseBase
Go get your perfect FuseBase (formerly Nimbus) plan. Or better yet, have your employees spread out your ideal team workspace. By sharing links to FuseBase pages, selecting an assignee for the tasks and leaving comments, you will be able to resolve issues as quickly as possible and finally start chilling.
And after a great vacation, come back to your optimized workflow with renewed vigor. During all this time, we’ll be keeping your plans & pages in perfect order for you!
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