Creating systems can help minimize forgetfulness and confusion during busy times. Whether traveling or just away from the office, plan for this “break”.
BEFORE YOU GO. What do you need to cover while you are gone?
- Set up an out of office notice (email).
- Stop mail.
- Make a list of all the projects on your plate and prioritize them. Determine what you want to take with you (often best to take ONE project that you can reasonably do); pin up the rest of the list for when you return.
- Start your own personal packing list now, so when you pack you can follow the list and not “rethink” everything. See this sample packing lists, courtesy of www.cupofjules.com, to help with details.
- Forward your phones.
- Double-check your security alarm, camera, and lighting system.
WHEN YOU GET BACK.
- Block the day after you get back for getting caught up.
- Have 3 bins: NOW, this week, and later (for magazines, etc.).
- Write your voice messages each on a sheet and put them in the appropriate bin. Do the same with your mail. Mirror the system for e-mails.
- Adopt the “touch it once” policy and put it in one of the bins or trash it. Sort quickly and then only deal with the NOW bin before you move on to anything else.
- Unpack, laundry… do it all, so you don’t look at it a week later as you feel more and more behind.
Strategic Planning Coach