Archives for posts with tag: preparation

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this on the blog yet, but at the end of May until the very beginning of June I’ll be taking a trip to Ireland! I’m going with my grandmother and we’ll be driving (okay, I’ll be driving…) around the country. I cannot wait for this trip–I’ve been saving and planning for it for awhile now and it’s so close! I’ve also been planning for it at work and it will be the first major vacation I’ve taken since a week-long trip to Aruba in 2014. This trip to Ireland will be almost 2 whole weeks (luckily, Memorial Day is thrown in there and my office is closed) and I have to prepare for people to take over my work while I’m out. Here are my plans:

  1. Do as much work as possible before I leave. This is very important because I don’t want to leave a pile of unfinished article proofs or unreviewed copyediting for someone to deal with while I’m out. I want to be conscientious and make sure I don’t overwhelm anyone.
  2. Anticipate any problems that could arise while I’m out. Since I’ll be “working ahead” as much as possible before I leave, it will give me a chance to think about problems or questions that could arise from my editorial offices. If I can anticipate their needs, I can head any potential issues off at the pass so my coverage partners only deal with happy, satisfied people.
  3. Make sure everything for both of my journals is organized. I’m a pretty organized person as it is, but making sure the things that my partners will be working on are in order before I leave will help them immensely. There are a lot of coverage documents for our journals and I may have let mine get a little stale, so I’m planning on looking through those and updating all the information.
  4. Bring home little thank-you treats for my lovely coverage partners! I’ve covered for a few people during my time here and I always appreciated the nice in-person “thank you” or small gift of chocolate, etc. This is certainly not required, but I’d like to make sure the people who are helping me out feel that I really appreciate what they’re doing!

As my departure date gets closer I’m sure I’ll have more to add to this list, but for now I’m concentrating on these items to ensure my vacation goes smoothly for everyone! How about you, readers–what was the longest vacation you took from work or school and how did you handle coverage or the workload while you were out?

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Courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on Flickr.

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Things have been crazy busy at work recently and sometimes gathering the strength to begin a new week can seem impossible. I’ve discovered that if I just dive in to work Monday morning (by reading and answering emails immediately, immediately completing important tasks first, and making a list for the rest of the day), my day suddenly becomes much more productive. This carries over into my personal life, too: if I’m having a successful day at work, I’ll come home and make a healthy dinner or dive into other projects with more enthusiasm.

I didn’t realize it, but I start preparing for Monday morning on Friday afternoon. About a half hour before I leave for the weekend, I take all the clutter off of my desk (which usually means copies of journal issues that I’ve consulted throughout the week), put everything where it belongs, and wash my coffee and water cups. Then, when I come in Monday morning, I almost forget that I’ve done that and am surprised by my neat, organized desk. I’m much more apt to begin work immediately if I don’t have to wade through old papers and journals before I get my first cup of coffee.

If I open my email right away and begin going through it, I’ll get a few small things done. I even feel more positive after completing tasks first thing in the morning. My brain very much likes lists and checking tasks off of them and even checking off two or three smaller tasks gets me ready for bigger tasks. I have the ability to keep myself down and out, but if I decide that I won’t be that way, then I won’t.

I hope everybody had a wonderful Easter weekend. Or, if you don’t celebrate Easter, then I hope you had a nice, spring-like weekend :).

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I found this uplifting article, 10 Things Most Successful People Do At Night Before Sleep, while browsing Twitter the other day. What do you do before you go to sleep at night? Typically, I flop down on the couch or in my bed and read or play games on my smartphone, just to unwind for the day. I don’t have a TV in my room, so I don’t watch movies and I don’t listen to my headphones–I usually have a pretty quiet evening. But, after reading the article, I wondered if anything I do, from the time I get home from work until I go to sleep, prepares me for success the next day. I had to scrutinize my habits and think about why I do them–and I came up with some great answers!

The first thing Shawn Lim, the author of the article, offers as advice to prepare for success tomorrow is to wrap up the day; that is, do not take your work home with you if you do not work from home. This is one thing I struggled with when I first started my job–I didn’t take physical work home with me, but I did take the anxieties of work home. The only thing that does is make you a ball of nerves–get out of that habit as soon as possible! Once I developed more confidence in my role at work, I understood that no matter how much I stress about my job at home, I won’t be able to accomplish anything until the next morning when I get into the office. Now, I can concentrate on my friends and family and not feel so guilty about it!

Another suggestion Lim makes is to plan for the next day by writing down what needs to get done and preparing for it. I found that accomplishing this is as simple as laying out my clothes and packing my lunch the night before, so I’m not running around frantically in the morning to get ready. If I have any errands to run after work or some freelance work to do, I make the time to get what I need or to do that work. This helps me relax when I’m ready to sleep because I know that I’ll be able to meet the challenges the next day. Preparation makes 70% of my stress go away.

The final tip Lim gives is to get enough sleep (!). I know this is the most obvious suggestion, but it’s probably one of the most difficult to achieve. It’s much easier said than done to get enough sleep during the week, but I can tell the difference in my mood and productivity immediately upon waking up after a late or restless night. I seem to need between 7 to 8 hours to function properly like a living, breathing human being and if I get a little less than that, my brain seems to be working on borrowed power. I think part of this is knowing yourself–focus your needs and what you need to do to meet them. I don’t have a spouse or children, so I can imagine making the time to get some sleep is probably very difficult with others in your household to care for, but I do know that it is extremely important to make the effort. Your spouse and your children will thank you!

This article made me think more about how I use my time. I always feel better if I have a plan for the next day, even if it’s a rough idea, and I’m going to make more of an effort to make sure I prepare at the end of each day for the one ahead.

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Here are three more articles related to this topic that are worth checking out!
1. 20 Things Highly Successful People Don’t Do
2. 20 Productivity Secrets of Highly Successful People
3. 8 Easy Ways To Get Better Sleep Tonight

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