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  • Want to Get Ahead? Go on Vacation!

    shutterstock_205937581Feel always behind and that you’ll never get ahead? Do you wonder if all these delayed tasks, missed meetings and unkempt desk are negatively affecting your personal brand?

    Yes, they are.

    Being unproductive or giving the impression on being ineffective taints you in a negative light that will have lasting effects.

    If you’ve missed a deadline that can have a domino effect to others on your team or that are depending on you to make your deadline for they to make theirs.

    If could also negatively affect the relationship with a co-worker, customer or supervisor who will be less trusting in your abilities which leads to less involvement in significant projects or no involvement at all.

    No matter how challenging it can be to be able to do everything we need to do in the day to day operation of our business or our position when a vacation comes around we’re able to accomplish tremendous “feats” to complete items prior to our first vacation day.

    The Vacation Focus

    It never fails. Two weeks before your vacation, you’re finishing projects like never before. It’s almost as if your procrastination button has been turned off for good, allowing you to work at a pace and level you never thought possible. Have you ever wondered why this is?

    Fewer Distractions

    Because one to two weeks of no work is looming on the horizon, you sit down and focus on one thing at a time no matter how many phone calls or emails try to worm their way in. Idle chit chat is skipped and internet browsing comes to a halt because the last thing you want to worry about on vacation are all of your unfinished projects due the day you get back.


    In addition to the strong focus, you begin to list your work in a hierarchy based on most important to least important. Suddenly, answering an email about your availability for the office party doesn’t seem so dire. You might even find yourself passing off the smaller projects to those around you.

    Partitioning Time

    You begin scheduling your time before vacation in accordance with how much of it you’ll need to complete each task. This practice actually allows you to do better work faster since you know that project will only be getting that much time so it has to be done. Otherwise, you end up working on it off and on again for way too long.

    Bring your vacation focus everyday

    What can you do to capitalize on that laser vacation focus without having to go on vacation?

    Put into practice the following:

    1. Fewer distractions. Bring the feeling or urgency with an upcoming vacation into your everyday environment by making the end of the week the end of the time allotted for tasks. Begin scheduling your time so you don’t waste it by being indecisive about what you need to do next.
    2. What’s urgent and important? And, is what you’re about to spend time on next doing anything to move you closer to your goal. If not, don’t do it. If it doesn’t need to be you doing it, then delegate it.

    Partitioning.  Avoid going “dumb” on your time budgeting skills when you’re not going on vacation.  Realistically, how much time do you need to complete a task or an objective on a project? Schedule that out so that you know immediately if you have enough time budgeted to complete that project before the end of the week.  If not, then there are some decisions to make in either pushing it back, rescaling it or delegating certain tasks.

    Maria Elena Duron, is managing editor of the Personal Branding Blog, CEO (chief engagement officer) of buzz2bucks– a word of mouth marketing firm, and a professional speaker and trainer on developing social networks that work. She provides workshops, webinars, seminars and direct services that help create conversation, connection, credibility, community and commerce around your brand.  Maria Duron is founder and moderator of #brandchat- a weekly Twitter chat focused on every aspect of branding that is recognized by Mashable as one the 15 Essential Twitter Chats for Social Media Marketers.

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