No Place Like Home (Office) for the Holidays
So your headed out of town for the holidays, your headed home, or to the beach, or maybe you’re just taking some time out of the office because the kids are out of school. You’re so ready for the big bear hug from your Dad, the smell of the fresh ocean breeze, the full stomachs of Christmas cookies, and giggling kiddos on Christmas morning. It honestly couldn’t get any better until you remember that you have an inbox full of emails and hours of work to be completed before the new year. Such a buzz kill. We small business owners/entrepreneurs/freelancers/anyone with a job understand the struggle of never really being off the clock. There is always an email to answer, a social media post to send out, a campaign newsletter to compose, which we willingly accepted when we booked our flights, negotiated some remote office work, or told mom to make up the guest room. But that doesn’t mean that it will be easy. With tempting distractions around every corner, a totally messed up routine and probably some major jet lag your dedication levels will need to be on point to get everything done. But we believe in you and we know that you can do it because we are experts of dealing with the Grinch debacle that is working remotely. You could say it’s the story of our lives as our team is spread out across the country! Here are some secrets from the masters on how to block out the pandemonium and stay on your work grind at home, on the beach or anywhere your adventures take you.
1. Keep up with your regular routine – as much as possible
Your routine is your life force, straying from it will wear you down, tire you out and make you vulnerable to all of the temptations you’re trying to avoid. It is so important to keep up your regular practices when you are out of town, especially as pertains to your work if you hope to get some good productive hours in each day. Get a good night’s sleep, try not to stay up late or sleep in if that isn’t your usual practice. Go to they gym, do some yoga, eat a nutritious breakfast, execute your regular pre-work routine as normally as you can. If you tend to be someone who gets really out of whack when you are out of your typical office environment you might even want to go so far as getting dressed for work or at least opting for some real shoes and not your slippers. Go at your workday just as you would any other day, do your emails, then move on to the next thing and the next until your duties are done. Before you know it you’ll be done and ready to relax and enjoy your vacation.
2. Set the mood – adapt your surroundings
At this point in your life, you should be well aware of your work habits and what you need to do to keep your workflow flowing. Do you need silence or music? Do you need to be alone or have hustlin’ and bustlin’ people around you? Think about what factors of your workflow push you to accomplish the most quality work and then find a spot that will accommodate those requirements. Start by setting up your makeshift office in an area that is similar to your usual workspace. Just do your best, your parents laundry room or the hotel room might not reflect the same feng shui as your usual digs but as long as they’re quiet, they’ll do. Similarly, if you work in an open office environment, maybe you’re in a more open space. Go to a local coffee shop and set up a mini office there, grab a latte and get to work. Try putting as many of our normal work habits into practice as you can. Listen to music, put in ear plugs, do things in their usual order. By practicing your regular working habits and adapting your surroundings to your liking, you can sink naturally into your regular working rhythm anywhere you go.
3. Set boundaries
For any working person, career life and personal life can easily blend together. But just because you have work to do during your vacation doesn’t mean you can’t have time to relax and enjoy. It is so important for you to be able to set your phone and laptop aside and be present with your loved ones. During these extended stays, it is crucial to set yourself some work boundaries, so that you are able to create a balance of work and play. If your mind is distracted with work problems or family fun, it will be difficult for you to be completely capable of finishing your tasks or enjoying family time. Once every other day, run to the coffee shop for a few hours to check some tasks off of your to-do list and run back home for holiday fun–easy as that! You don’t need to spend hours and hours a day working on projects, but rather setting some time aside to accomplish a few projects or tasks will keep you on time and productive without completely interrupting your workflow. Set yourself a general time limit like 2-3 hours every other day or 1 hour per day to keep yourself accountable but not completely overwhelmed with your workload.
As you pack up to head off on your adventures this coming week, remind yourself that time with family or friends should be priority and work should be second. Although our jobs are meaningful, spending time with loved ones should be cherished more than your job. At the end of the day, the moments spent with love and laughter are more valuable than checking off your to-do list. Find your sweet spot of being productive, but also be present with your family and friends. Relax and recharge with family and friends while maintaining a positive and productive presence at work. When you come back to reality, the work and new year will be here ready to tackle.