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How To Maximize Time On A Short Vacation

How To Maximize Time On A Short Vacation

With all the hustle, stress, struggles, and the sacrifices we have to go through in order to make a living, I won’t blame you if every now and then you plan a short vacation for the next weekend just to get away from it all!

After a few short months, I have a strong feeling your feet will feel the itch again for another one. This is the story of young working professionals across the globe today. Even if this is the case, they still open communication lines and bring some work along while travelling. (Especially, Millennials; they insert small pockets of time for work while vacationing just to make sure they don’t lag behind on projects upon getting back to work). Who can blame them? All of us deserve to take breathers every once in a while. In fact, many of the people I have interviewed expressed a revelation. To them: travel is not luxury, it’s necessity.

In light of this, I’ve compiled a list of tips from travel experts to make the most of your time while disappearing this weekend.

Time-maximizing tips you can pocket before flying

Plan ahead.

As soon as you have decided where you want to go, ask in advance for time off from work, and inform your boss exactly when you want to take the trip. That way, you’ll know in advance if you’ll get the schedule you’ve chosen or not. Either way, you can prepare much sooner. This will ensure that once you leave the office on the prearranged date, you’ll just need a quick bath, carry your luggage, and be on your way. You will not waste time packing and preparing since you’ve done that earlier.

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Extend your weekend getaway.

Don’t settle for a 2-day weekend. You can target a schedule where you can have a 3-day weekend, or, better yet, go for a schedule where Monday is a holiday, and then ask for a day off on a Friday before that particular holiday-Monday so you can assemble a 4-day weekend. This will give you additional two days to sightsee and enjoy your destination.

Prioritize.

Create a list of your must-sees and must-dos during your planning period. Answer the question: What is important to you? Think of something you can’t afford not seeing or doing. Mark that as your priority and plan to do it before anything else. Schedule it. Make the necessary reservations. Do everything you need to do to prepare for that item on your list.

One of my friends said, “when my family went to Florence, I knew my wife wanted to behold the city as the sun sets. The statue of David wasn’t that important to her, so it was positioned last in our list.” Their vacation ended without visiting the statue, but they don’t feel bad. They are happy they had the opportunity to see and experience the items on top of their list.

Get some shut- eye.

If your trip is overnight, make the most of it by getting a good night sleep. Even if (yeah, it’s a given) the quality of sleep you’ll get on a bus or a plane is way poorer than your sleep in your own bed, you can do something to improve your chances of getting a good one by bringing shut-eye paraphernalia: an eye mask, Ostrich Pillow, and SleepPhones to create your own little doze sanctuary on the plane or bus.

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Factor in your destination time zone.

Travel expert  says, if you live in Chicago– and as much as you love to go to Asia or Europe– when it comes to traveling over a limited time (e.g. the 4-day weekend I suggested above), it is much wiser to fly south.

Why? Let me explain. First, time zones are close. The time difference between Chicago, Central and South America is just a few hours apart; the best part is in Central, there’s no time difference. As a consequence, your body won’t need to adjust and abruptly shift to a seven-hour time change. Surely, you wouldn’t want that! It may leave you sluggish for many hours which can spell a disaster. Remember, your trip is ultra short already.

Second, overnight flights are a better option; with them, time can be used more cleverly. Lots of flights going to South American countries like Colombia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil have red-eyes that depart from Miami, Houston, or Fort Lauderdale around midnight and arrive in the morning. If, like my friend, you can drink a glass of wine and after a few minutes be ready to doze off anywhere (in this case) on the plane, it would be easy to decide and take this trip, because, you can fall asleep in Miami and wake up in Rio. Simple.

Stay in a hostel.

OK, hostels are cheap, but that’s not the only reason they’re a great place to stay. Being billeted in a hostel makes it easy to meet people and explore parts of the city that tourists may usually miss. I suggest you hang out in the common areas. They are commonly full of fun-seeking travelers like you, local guides looking for gigs, and bulletin boards filled with posters and flyers promoting local activities and festivals.

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Rent a bike instead of a car.

Biking around with the aim of having an adventure is one of the most effective ways of getting to know a new place. It’s obviously faster than walking, but slow enough to let you stop and visit a house museum or a quirky shop if that’s your fancy. And since you’re the navigator (and not a taxi driver) you’ll get acquainted to the town more quickly. Besides, you can hit the breaks and snap photos of hidden scenic spots whenever your inner artist prompts you to.

Book a hostel near the action.

This is self explanatory. If you stay near the places you want to see and want to be in close proximity to the activities you want to do, you’ll be quicker getting to them, and, for sure, you’ll be able to allot more time exploring the place.

Make an itinerary.

After you have set your priorities, start reserving spots and buying tickets for unique experiences your destination can offer, and schedule the rest of your vacation days around the top priorities in your list.

Do your assignment; find out the length of time it takes to get from activity A to activity B. It’s as easy as breathing to make your weekend’s itinerary with minimal wasted time. Creating an itinerary may even help you make more time to fit in additional precious experiences at your chosen destination!

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Do you have other ideas? Don’t hesitate to share them.

Featured photo credit: Plane above the head/Deniz Altindas via unsplash.com

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Anthony Dejolde

TV/Radio personality who educates his audience on entrepreneurship, productivity, and leadership.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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