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How 4 Hours of Work Can Make up for a Week of Vacation


How 4 Hours of Work Can Make Up for a Week of Vacation 

One of my favorite sites, The Daily Saint, posted a great subject– especially for me since I’m on vacation.  Thanks Mike for providing this timely idea:  Most of us like vacation.  Most of us do not like the volume of work that greets us upon return from vacation.  It might explain whyAmericans take less vacation time than those in other developing countries.  Consider the post-vacation greeting from:

  • Hundreds of emails…waiting for your reply.
  • Dozens of voice mails…demanding some resolution.
  • Tens of projects…each needing attention.
  • Piles of paperwork…all arguing for space on your desk.

All of this can be pretty daunting but four simple hours of work can make up for it all.   Here’s a plan for tackling your work and still enjoying vacation:

  1. Go into work for one morning during your vacation.  I suggest a mid-vacation time (Wednesdays are perfect).
  2. Dress casual. It will feel exotic and why not?  Enjoy the moment.
  3. Bring some java.  I know, you’d rather cash in on the free coffee that work provides but go ahead and treat yourself to an expensive cup of tea of coffee.  Look at it as an enhancement to your work-flow. 
  4. Process your work.  Plain and simple- dive in and get into the zone.

What are the effects of this simple, four hour blitz of work?  First, your vacation will thank you for it because you won’t be stressing over the work you imagine piling up.  Second, your work will thank you for it when you return.  Third and most importantly, you know that you’ll be working smarter than the rest of the bunch.  This is not so much about competition but about finding a way to ease stress and capitalize on down time.  Go for it!



Cut the Chit Chat

Today’s guest post is from Mike St. Pierre of The Daily Saint. 

If you could measure how much chit-chat goes into an average workday, would you then keep it up or cut down on it?  When four veteran employees were fired last May due to excessive gossip at work, people were outraged.  At the end of the day, it was a good reminder that productivity does matter.  It appears that the high school girls who ruined your reputation in 10th grade have grown up and not kicked the habit.

If GTD has done anything for the productivity world, it’s enhanced our awareness of the need to stay focused at work, do one thing at a time, and handle interruptions with ease.  Today’s insight is simple: do more at work by talking less to those around you.  I’m not advocating a sort of monasticwork-flow where we light candles and speak for only an hour after lunch.  Rather, it seems to make sense that we talk when we need to rather than as an escape from our work.

I see many people who stay in a conversation just a bit longer than they need to.  It’s a sort of luxury that folks enjoy in order to delay work.  Fascinating but true.

Some suggestions for getting things done today while using fewer words:

  • Keep your door closed for one solid hour while you crank out some work.
  • Go for a walk around the block after lunch instead of chatting by the water cooler.
  • Buy a pair of headphones and use at your discretion.
  • Put a sign on the back of your chair that says, “Please do not interrupt- power hour in process.”