Tips for Being Productive on Vacation

I know I know. The title of the post is probably confusing to most. Working on vacation? No. Ma’am. I mean I get it – vacation is supposed to be just that. Taking a break from the corporate hustle. Taking a break from emails. Taking a break from the mundane day-to-day of whatever job/career/business/drama crashing into your life. Believe me – I get it. But to be honest, I just can’t think of the last time I took an actual vacation. I’m talking radio silence, 24/7 relaxation mode. It’s not that I don’t want one. I really REALLY do. But, as most of my full time bloggers, biz owners, etc. know, you don’t really have many opportunities to take advantage of a true vacay. For me, I like to think I’ve mastered the balance of keeping up with the important shit while still taking some time to just enjoy your much deserved #vacationmode. Check out a few tips below! 

  1. Set Traveling Business Hours: It’s almost impossible for me to shut things off completely. I have a serious dependency problem with my phone and laptop. I do however find it really helpful to set an hour or so each day to work when I’m traveling or on vacation. I usually plan out my trips pretty well so I can build in some time to wrap up projects, plan ahead and catch up on admin work I can’t put off any longer. This probably sounds SO boring but I actually love grabbing a coffee at a local cafe or sipping on a glass of local wine and plugging into my computer for an hour or two. Having the time set aside to get stuff done feels less like a hassle and more like a little vacay from your vacation (hello alone time!). 
  2. Make a To Do List + Prioritize: Before I head out on any trip, whether it’s in the states or abroad, I typically make a to-do list of all of the things I definitely need to get done before I get home. It might consist of two small items or in the case of my more recent trips, the list is fifteen plus. I then break it up into a) things I can do on the plane (usually things that don’t require WifI in case the plane isn’t equipped or I’m going international), b) things I need to finish within the first two days (usually time sensitive projects that have deadline or can’t wait until i return) and c) things that I just need to make sure are wrapped up before hopping on the plane to come home. This breakdown helps to not only keep me organized but also alleviates some of the stress. When I have a plan, I feel so much better! 
  3. Setup Your In-Room Office: While I love popping down to a cafe or quiet lobby bar to get some work done, nothing beats setting up shop in your sweats. When we were in Chicago for TBSCon, I literally spent at least three hours each day on our couch getting work done. And it was perfect. The W Lakeshore was not only the perfect host for our girls trip but they were so accommodating with helping me build my own office experience in the room. They brought up coffee, gave us the perfect view for mini breaks (who wouldn’t want to stare out at Lake Michigan all day?) and did I mention – coffee? The first thing I do when I check in to my room is setup all of my cords, devices, etc. on the desk or whatever area I’ve taken over. I . love having the space set aside and claimed for working during the trip. 
  4. Let the Distractions Happen: I’d say I usually get about 90% of the tasks on my list completed when I’m traveling. The other 10%? I’d chock that up to lots of distractions, the good and the bad. The things that don’t get done definitely weren’t on the priority list and it’s okay to push things back if you need to. Instead of freaking out or missing out on exciting experiences, I try to buffer in enough flexibility to be able to move things around. As one of my favorite colleagues used to say: It’s PR not the ER. If you work in marketing….you’ll get the reference. 

Do you have any tips for getting productive on vacay? Comment below!