A crazy week of travel, meetings, and more travel led me to a quiet start to this week. That’s not to say that I didn’t do much to start off the week (I did), but I did a whole lot of light-lifting and low energy tasks to start the week rather than dive right into the heavier tasks on my docket.
Sure, I work for myself and that may mean that I don’t have superior breathing down my neck when I return to work. But I do have assignments that need doing and expectations from others — and myself — that need doing either before I travel or upon my return that I can’t simply hold off on until I feel rejuvenated enough to work on them. The key is — whether you work in a traditional office environment or from home as I do — is to take time to make time. Do the work that needs doing in advance so that you can recharge accordingly when you return from an extended period of time away from the day-to-day.
For example, I knew I’d be leaving town as of Wednesday and wouldn’t be back until Sunday. In fact, I knew that months ago. So I gave those who I work with plenty of notice, telling them that I needed to have all assignments to me two days’ prior to me leaving and I wouldn’t be back until the day after I actually returned (which was Monday). That gave me time to deal with all they had to have done and gave me a day to recuperate before getting back to the grind. I spent time preparing for my travel (I took the time) so that all parties had enough time to make sure all the work was done well and without fail (I made the time we had work for us).
I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a structure in place so that you can have as stress-free a schedule as possible. That means putting some form of system in place — whether digital or analog — that allows you to make time work for you. Again, that means taking the time needed now to set up something that allows you to make time for your work later, which seems like a lot of effort at first for very little short-term payoff. But it’s so worth it when situations like this arise. And they will arise.
Take time now to make time for later. After all, there’s a lot more to do later than there is to do right now — and that’s not just the stuff you need to do … but also what you want to do.
Photo credit: roijaune (CC BY 2.0)