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The Benefits of Taking Quick Getaways

The Benefits of Taking Quick Getaways

    I just came back from a quick getaway and it was such a worthwhile experience. Today with increasing financial constraints, which limits many people from taking longer, farther vacations, the quick getaway is a fantastic option.

    No need for many vacation days

    The quick getaway does not require taking a week’s worth of vacation days. It can be done over a long weekend or even just a normal two-day weekend. My latest trip was just two nights away.

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    One can save up vacation days for those future longer trips further from home. Even a two-night trip can result in adequate recharging of the batteries. Such a break allows me to return with more productivity. I came back from this trip totally satisfied, refreshed and ready for normal life again.

    The short getaways also teach you to pack efficiently as well as use some healthy habits during travels so that you become more prepared when the time comes to take longer vacations. Think of them as test trips before that big voyage you will take someday.

    No need for expensive flights or hotels

    Although it certainly is possible to fly to a destination for a quick getaway like I have in the past such as short trips to Florida for some scuba diving, many quick getaways can be done through driving within say six to eight hours each way. My recent trip was a pleasant six-hour drive from Toronto to Montreal where I met up with a few local friends. We then drove down to Vermont the next day which is just two hours away for a day of awesome snow skiing.

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    I stayed at a very reasonably priced hotel in Montreal and my CAA/AAA card got me a very nice discount. The chain of hotel I stayed at provides free breakfasts in the morning, which helped me, save on my meals.

    Catching up with friends is socially satisfying

    On this trip, I got to catch up with my Montreal friends whom I see maybe only once per year. This made the trip very rewarding from a social point of view as I think it is very important to reconnect with friends who live out of town.

    Indeed, friends will always feel great that you have made the time and effort to travel out to see them in their home cities. These same friends can also help you keep updated with the latest happenings in their cities whether it is the latest events or shopping opportunities.

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    During my trip, I got together a few of my local friends and they have never met each other before. So my social get-together provided them new local social connections as well.

    Expanding your horizons makes you more interesting

    Upon returning home, the experiences you get during your quick getaways will make you a more interesting person in the eyes of the folks you work and socialize with back in your home territory. They often want to know how your trip was and in my case, my fellow snow skiers back home were very interested to hear what my report was of the place where I skied at in Vermont.

    Instead of spending yet another weekend at home, I chose to go somewhere for a quick trip to not only socialize with a few out of town friends, but to also experience something or some place new. This was certainly the case as it was my first trip in the part of Vermont I went to. With just two days of regional travel, I expanded my own horizons.

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    So to get similar benefits that a standard long vacation would usually provide, one does not necessarily have to take entire weeks off at a time. Instead, short getaways can result in the same type of benefits and one can even possibly take more of them throughout the year without digging really deep into the finances.

    Conclusion

    Consider all the different places you can travel to within say an eight hour drive radius and make a few of these your future quick getaways. These types of trips are great for the soul and easy on the bank account.

    Feel free to share in the comments section below some of the quick getaways you have taken or would like to take in the future.

    (Photo credit: Landscape of snow and snow-covered pine trees via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on September 16, 2019

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

    You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

    We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

    The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

    Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

    1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

    Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

    For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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    • (1) Research
    • (2) Deciding the topic
    • (3) Creating the outline
    • (4) Drafting the content
    • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
    • (6) Revision
    • (7) etc.

    Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

    2. Change Your Environment

    Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

    One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

    3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

    Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

    Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

    My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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    Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

    4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

    If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

    Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

    I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

    5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

    I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

    Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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    As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

    6. Get a Buddy

    Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

    I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

    7. Tell Others About Your Goals

    This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

    For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

    8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

    What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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    9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

    If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

    Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

    10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

    Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

    Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

    11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

    At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

    Reality check:

    I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

    More About Procrastination

    Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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