By Staff Writer
The sounds of laughter fill the air. It’s time to relax and unwind; you deserve it! Deck the halls with boughs of holly, bake those cookies, go on a Christmas walk, host a gift exchange...getting into the holiday spirit and spending time with your family is what the holidays are all about. Amidst the fun and laughter, however, is a nagging reminder that you run an online business. You probably have a high-value project that demands your attention, despite the holidays. Each day matters; and we don’t get paid vacation time.
It’s important for you to stay productive without compromising the fun the holiday season brings.
Traveling often means jet lag and long delays. But one of the best productivity hacks for the holiday season is leveraging your travel time. Virtual A Team has created a W-I-S-E strategy to help you better use these travel hours.
W- Work in the Cloud
Google Drive is a lifesaver! All files are stored in the cloud and can be accessed on any device. That project you were working on using your laptop or home computer will still be available on your tablet and smartphone. In fact, you can make documents available offline on your devices so that you can work on them in areas with no internet connection. The changes you’ve made will automatically become available on all devices when you are reconnected to the internet.
The document creation software available on Google Drive is similar to the Microsoft Office suite of products. Therefore, there isn’t a steep learning curve. Google Docs is similar to Microsoft Word. Google Sheets is similar to Microsoft Excel. Google Slides is similar to Microsoft PowerPoint. Don't worry about adjusting to new software.
I- Identify Your Work Rhythm
Holiday travel is filled with distractions. You’ll be in a crowded airports or freeways. Here are some tips to work through the distractions:
- Ensure that your kids are actively engaged. Give them their favorite games and snacks so that they aren’t bored.
- Buy a pair of noise-canceling headphones so that the noise around you is drowned out. However, keep checking on your environment, you don’t want to miss a flight!
- Work longer hours before the holiday so that you complete your high priority tasks before you leave.
Communicate with your clients when you will be away. Start this communication at least a month prior to leaving. Remind them again during that month.
S- Schedule a Day or 2 Off After Travel Days
It can often be tiring and overwhelming to dive back into work immediately after a long holiday. You need at least a day or two to get your bearings. You’ll need to unpack, get some rest (especially if your trip was overseas and in a different time zone) and catch up with work you would have missed while away.
E- Engage Your Clients
Effective communication is integral to any client relationship. Let your clients know that you’ll be on vacation and, therefore, will have limited availability. Most clients will understand and give you the space you need. However, it is only fair that you give them enough notice so that they can adjust accordingly; it’s not something that you should do while traveling. Going on vacation shouldn’t be a secret.
Limit your email check ins to twice per day. Once in the morning, once in the late afternoon. Don't reply to any unnecessary emails.
Putting It All Together
You should be W-I-S-E about how you use your travel time during the holidays. Capitalizing on these hours takes a lot of preplanning, but it’s possible. Use Google Drive so that you can work on your documents on any device, identify strategies to work amidst the distractions, schedule some time to recoup after the vacation and engage your clients so that they are aware of the time you’ll be away. Your online business needs your continuous support, but you also deserve a vacation. Let the W-I-S-E strategy help you make the best use of your travel time for the holidays.
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