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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 November 19, 2019

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    20 Time Management Tips to Super Boost Your Productivity

    Are you usually punctual or late? Do you finish things within the time you stipulate? Do you hand in your reports/work on time? Are you able to accomplish what you want to do before deadlines? Are you a good time manager?

    If your answer is “no” to any of the questions above, that means you’re not managing your time as well as you want. Here are 20 time management tips to help you manage time better:

    1. Create a Daily Plan

    Plan your day before it unfolds. Do it in the morning or even better, the night before you sleep. The plan gives you a good overview of how the day will pan out. That way, you don’t get caught off guard. Your job for the day is to stick to the plan as best as possible.

    2. Peg a Time Limit to Each Task

    Be clear that you need to finish X task by 10am, Y task by 3pm, and Z item by 5:30pm. This prevents your work from dragging on and eating into time reserved for other activities.

    3. Use a Calendar

    Having a calendar is the most fundamental step to managing your daily activities. If you use outlook or lotus notes, calendar come as part of your mailing software.

    I use it. It’s even better if you can sync your calendar to your mobile phone and other hardwares you use – that way, you can access your schedule no matter where you are. Here’re the 10 Best Calendar Apps to Stay on Track .

    Find out more tips about how to use calendar for better time management here: How to Use a Calendar to Create Time and Space

    4. Use an Organizer

    An organizer helps you to be on top of everything in your life. It’s your central tool to organize information, to-do lists, projects, and other miscellaneous items.

    These Top 15 Time Management Apps and Tools can help you organize better, pick one that fits your needs.

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    5. Know Your Deadlines

    When do you need to finish your tasks? Mark the deadlines out clearly in your calendar and organizer so you know when you need to finish them.

    But make sure you don’t make these 10 Common Mistakes When Setting Deadlines.

    6. Learn to Say “No”

    Don’t take on more than you can handle. For the distractions that come in when you’re doing other things, give a firm no. Or defer it to a later period.

    Leo Babauta, the founder of Zen Habits has some great insights on how to say no: The Gentle Art of Saying No

    7. Target to Be Early

    When you target to be on time, you’ll either be on time or late. Most of the times you’ll be late. However, if you target to be early, you’ll most likely be on time.

    For appointments, strive to be early. For your deadlines, submit them earlier than required.

    Learn from these tips about how to prepare yourself to be early, instead of just in time.

    8. Time Box Your Activities

    This means restricting your work to X amount of time. Why time boxing is good for you? Here’re 10 reasons why you should start time-boxing.

    You can also read more about how to do time boxing here: #5 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity.

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    9. Have a Clock Visibly Placed Before You

    Sometimes we are so engrossed in our work that we lose track of time. Having a huge clock in front of you will keep you aware of the time at the moment.

    10. Set Reminders 15 Minutes Before

    Most calendars have a reminder function. If you have an important meeting to attend, set that alarm 15 minutes before.

    You can learn more about how reminders help you remember everything in this article: The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder That Works)

    11. Focus

    Are you multi-tasking so much that you’re just not getting anything done? If so, focus on just one key task at one time. Multitasking is bad for you.

    Close off all the applications you aren’t using. Close off the tabs in your browser that are taking away your attention. Focus solely on what you’re doing. You’ll be more efficient that way.

    Lifehack’s CEO has written a definitive guide on how to focus, learn the tips: How to Focus and Maximize Your Productivity (the Definitive Guide)

    12. Block out Distractions

    What’s distracting you in your work? Instant messages? Phone ringing? Text messages popping in?

    I hardly ever use chat nowadays. The only times when I log on is when I’m not intending to do any work. Otherwise it gets very distracting.

    When I’m doing important work, I also switch off my phone. Calls during this time are recorded and I contact them afterward if it’s something important. This helps me concentrate better.

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    Find more tips on how to minimize distractions to achieve more in How to Minimize Distraction to Get Things Done

    13. Track Your Time Spent

    When you start to track your time, you’re more aware of how you spend your time. For example, you can set a simple countdown timer to make sure that you finish a task within a period of time, say 30 minutes or 1 hour. The time pressure can push you to stay focused and work more efficiently.

    You can find more time tracking apps here and pick one that works for you.

    14. Don’t Fuss About Unimportant Details

    You’re never get everything done in exactly the way you want. Trying to do so is being ineffective.

    Trying to be perfect does you more harm than good, learn here about how perfectionism kills your productivity and how to ditch the perfectionism mindset.

    15. Prioritize

    Since you can’t do everything, learn to prioritize the important and let go of the rest.

    Apply the 80/20 principle which is a key principle in prioritization. You can also take up this technique to prioritize everything on your plate: How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

    16. Delegate

    If there are things that can be better done by others or things that are not so important, consider delegating. This takes a load off and you can focus on the important tasks.

    When you delegate some of your work, you free up your time and achieve more. Learn about how to effectively delegate works in this guide: How to Delegate Work (the Definitive Guide for Successful Leaders)

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    17. Batch Similar Tasks Together

    For related work, batch them together.

    For example, my work can be categorized into these core groups:

    1. writing (articles, my upcoming book)
    2. coaching
    3. workshop development
    4. business development
    5. administrative

    I batch all the related tasks together so there’s synergy. If I need to make calls, I allocate a time slot to make all my calls. It really streamlines the process.

    18. Eliminate Your Time Wasters

    What takes your time away your work? Facebook? Twitter? Email checking? Stop checking them so often.

    One thing you can do is make it hard to check them – remove them from your browser quick links / bookmarks and stuff them in a hard to access bookmarks folder. Replace your browser bookmarks with important work-related sites.

    While you’ll still checking FB/Twitter no doubt, you’ll find it’s a lower frequency than before.

    19. Cut off When You Need To

    The number one reason why things overrun is because you don’t cut off when you have to.

    Don’t be afraid to intercept in meetings or draw a line to cut-off. Otherwise, there’s never going to be an end and you’ll just eat into the time for later.

    20. Leave Buffer Time In-Between

    Don’t pack everything closely together. Leave a 5-10 minute buffer time in between each tasks. This helps you wrap up the previous task and start off on the next one.

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    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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