Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
WORKPLACE / JUL. 30, 2015
version 11, draft 11

Staying Focused at Work When Your Holiday is Coming up

It’s very hard to stay focused when the anticipation of a vacation haunts all your thoughts at work. We know that soon we will be lying on a beach with a good book, swimming for hours on end, and hanging out with friends and/or family. Or, on the opposite end of the vacation spectrum, we’re going to be intellectually stimulated by exploring a new city, walking the entire afternoon away and enjoying the local culture’s cuisine. No matter what your holiday plans are, you still have to go to your full-time job until it’s time to leave. You may be so excited that you find it difficult to concentrate, but unfortunately, that’s no excuse for not doing a good job at work. There are many ways to stay focused in the time before you board that plane. You will have a job to come back to after all, so you might as well ensure that you’re succeeding up until the very minute you leave the office.

Tackle Your Most Difficult Projects

Procrastination is always tempting. It’s that little voice inside our heads that tells us we don’t really have to do what we’re about to do, and that we can put it off. But we all know how well that always works out. It’s definitely not a good idea to procrastinate before you leave for a holiday because you will only worry during your entire vacation about returning to the office and having to work on the project you’ve been avoiding. Make sure you can enjoy your vacation and get your trickiest projects done. You will feel good and be proud that you managed to do something so difficult even though your mind is already on having fun in the sun.

You will definitely be able to focus when you work on something that’s not super easy because it will require your full attention. You won’t be able to wonder what clothes you should pack or worry about what you’ve forgotten to buy for your trip because you will need to pay attention to what you’re doing.

Stay Super Busy

Your boss wouldn’t appreciate you daydreaming at any time, but they especially won’t love to see you not working if you’re about to take a vacation. Make sure that you stay busy because it will be so easy to lose focus if you don’t do this. There’s always something to be done. Go through old emails and delete or organize them. Clean up your computer’s desktop.

Don’t Stray From Your Usual Routine

We may want to leave the office at lunchtime to run some vacation-related errands -- we do need a new bathing suit and pair of sunglasses, right? But try not to stray from your normal routine. It will only make it that much difficult to stay focused on your job because you won’t be able to help thinking about your trip and wanting the hours to fly by so you can go already. This will just make you feel anxious and not interested in working at all.

One benefit of working before a vacation is that you know you will get a break from your sometimes boring routine. So stick it out and know that you will be resting, relaxing and having fun soon enough.

But Give Yourself a Few Perks

Think about how boring life would be if you ate plain oatmeal for breakfast, a grilled chicken salad for lunch and a plain piece of fish and white rice for dinner. Every single day, without fail, without changing it up. We need variety and fun in our lives when it comes to everything from our food, our social plans and what we do in our leisure time. Just because you’re about to leave for a holiday doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your time at the office in the meantime.

Pack a more interesting lunch than you normally would: branch out and turn your typical chicken sandwich into a taco with hot sauce and coleslaw. Enjoy some guacamole and crackers for a snack instead of the sometimes boring hummus you would normally eat. Ask a co-worker to have lunch together to break up the work day.

Ask for More Work

This may sound borderline insane, especially considering that you’re trying to wrap up all your projects before you head out for some summer fun. But it’s actually a good strategy to retain your usual focus and motivation. Tell your boss that you want some more responsibilities and to offer the company more of yourself. You can even suggest that this start as soon as you return from your holiday. Then you have something cool and interesting to look forward to when you get home, and you can feel extra motivated right now. When we don’t work very hard, we feel lazy and tired because we’re not putting an effort into what we’re doing. But when we work hard in the present moment or think about working harder in the future, it can inspire us to be our best selves at the office, because we know that being lazy just won’t cut it.

Make a Game Plan for Your Return

Of course you want to forget all about work when you’re on your trip, and that vacation mind-set often starts before you even leave. A good way to stay focused is to figure out what you need to do as soon as you get back to the office. Ask your manager if there are any upcoming meetings or deadlines that you should know about and schedule them on your calendar or in your appointment book. Jot down any ideas you have been meaning to bring up.

Cut Yourself Some Slack the Day Before

Who can truly focus as much as normal on their last day of work before setting off for a beach vacation? Don’t have high expectations for your last day at the office, but make sure you’re still getting work done, of course.

Don’t wait until five p.m. to see if there’s anything that you’ve forgotten to do. This will only stress you out and make your boss think you can’t handle the responsibility of going on vacation. Instead, plan ahead and ask your manager in the morning of your final day if there’s anything else you can do before you leave. Don’t leave this until five p.m. because then you could end up staying super late and missing your flight. But it’s a good idea to ask this in the morning so you still have time.

See Also: 10 Things That Will Help You Focus and Work Smarter All Day Long

Want to know how to focus and get your head out of the clouds when you’re at the office for your last few days before leaving on summer vacation? You may think you won’t ever be able to pay attention to the work you have to do because you’re too excited to go away. But as it turns out, that’s not the case at all, and focusing at work before you go on a trip is definitely doable. Follow these strategies -- don’t procrastinate, stick to your typical routine, and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything -- and you will be guaranteed to succeed. So go ahead and enjoy your vacation.

Did you manage to stay focused the day before your holiday? Do you have any other tips? Share them in the comments section below.

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