Working Ahead Pays Off

airplaneby Catherine L. Tully

I hope that everyone enjoyed the time off for the holiday. Another one is around the bend, and I don’t know about you, but I intend to work ahead so that I can really spend the time relaxing with family. At least that is my plan.

Working ahead is really a form of delayed gratification. Doing my blog posts ahead of time means more on my plate now. But…it also means that I won’t have them staring me in the face right when I should be winding down to spend quality time with those I love. 

Since I’ll be traveling again soon (which means more plane time, airport time and general down time), I plan on taking advantage of those days by preparing queries to send out when I return. In the meantime, I’ll be wrapping up what I can here at home before I hit the friendly skies.

So here goes…my top five tips for working ahead this holiday season…

  1. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. This is no joke. Those tasks you hate doing? Get to them first and off the plate they go. If you can finish a piece in the ten minutes it takes to squeeze it in before you leave to go shopping, do it. If you can file your e-mails and clear out your inbox now, get it done. Waiting to take care of small tasks means that they pile up for later. Go, go, go!
  2. Blog ahead. Scheduling blog posts ahead of time is a real time saver. No folks, I do not get up and post every day at 6 am. I schedule it. And if you aren’t going to update your blog for a bit during the holidays, be sure to let readers in on that.
  3. Organize your work. This is super important. If you take any amount of time off, it can be difficult to remember where your notes are for something, or worse yet, what you did with that invoice you were going to send…prepare yourself for a smooth return to work and get everything set so it’s easy.
  4. Light a fire under your *&%$#. We all have a work pace that we grow comfortable with. Work harder than that and get things done early. Don’t pace yourself–you’ll have time to rest soon enough.
  5. Be proactive with regular clients. Don’t wait for them to hand you a last-minute assignment that you really don’t want…ask them early if they will be needing anything prior to the holiday. Narually this depends on your relationship (you don’t want to be pushy), but I have many clients that wouldn’t mind that question. If you have a good vibe going, use it.

The countdown is already on. If you can use any of these tips (which I hope you can), terrific! If you have any of your own to share, please feel free. Now if you will excuse me–I’ve got a few more posts to schedule.

2 thoughts on “Working Ahead Pays Off”

  1. In keeping with the holiday theme, one of my favorites is “do the dirtiest dishes first.” It’s very easy to get focused on the small, easy stuff and the resulting sense of fast progress, but if you can plow through some of the bigger, grimier items, you’ve probably accomplished more. It works equally well with turkey dinners and inboxes.

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