Brought To You By Emily Parks
Productivity Consultant at Organize For Success, LLC...
Helping You Make Every Minute Matter!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Use the Thanksgiving Holiday to Boost Productivity

Taking time off to rest, rejuvenate and replenish our reserves can be one of the most productive things to do. Not taking breaks can increase risk for depression, heart disease or premature death, but integrating downtime has been found to boost strategic and creative thinking, making professionals more effective. Still, the thought of carving such time out of an already busy schedule can give folks heart palpitations, and the idea of stepping away from work to celebrate the holidays can be quite overwhelming. Contrary to what it might seem, there are steps you can take today to make celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday more enjoyable and, thereby, more productive.

- Focus on your "must do" tasks for this week. Once you are clear on your priorities, you can dedicate your limited time towards those 3 - 5 most important or urgent activities that absolutely must be completed before taking vacation. Rather than dwelling on what "should" be done, focus on what truly drives you towards achieving your goals. For anything else on your running to-do list, identify where each stands, determine next steps for each and schedule when those next steps will get done upon your return. If you feel compelled to attack every item on your to-do list, ask yourself what might be the worst possible outcome for not getting each item completed; then, determine if that possible outcome is really possible or simply your fear taking over your logic.

- Communicate your intentions clearly. Let clients know which of the tasks being done for them you anticipate completing before the Thanksgiving holiday, and share with your clients related updates on anything that will wait until after the holiday to be addressed. Alert members of your team as to when you will be accessible, if / when you'll be checking emails or voice mails while away and what items of note impact what work they are addressing. Who will you offer clients as a point of contact for any days your office will be open while you're away? What information would be most helpful to include in your out-of-office email reply, like who to contact in which scenarios?

Schedule time to regroup upon your return. Yes, things will happen while you are away from work; folks might call or email, and you'll need time scheduled for addressing those loose ends. Since there is no "someday" on your calendar and time to catch-up doesn't magically appear, it is imperative to book an appointment with yourself for the day you return. If you can't block out the entire day, at least give yourself that morning to process new emails, return voice mail messages, communicate with your team and generally reassemble your working systems.

Take time now to prepare yourself for really enjoying the Thanksgiving holiday, fully take hold of the time for rejuvenating and use this opportunity to boost your productivity. Meanwhile, THANK YOU for being part of my world, investing your time to read what is written on this blog and providing feedback for how I can better share content that will empower your greater productivity. I am thankful for you and wish you a safe, happy Thanksgiving!