So, we're well into holiday season - how is yours so far?
I'd like to share a super simple holiday hack you can apply to any time of the year.
Thinks about the day before your last holiday or break from work...
My guess is that you’re astounded at how much you got done on that dreaded ‘to do’ list. You were slick. You were decisive. And you felt suitably smug as you sipped a glass of something delicious that evening. Sound familiar?
And the prize at the end? You put your out-of-office on without panicking and you actually put your work phone down for the duration. Phew!
But why do you think you were so effective?
What enabled you to get through the (lengthy) list of must-do tasks?
I expect you were channelling the ‘holiday hustle’ – a concept I heard about from a lovely life coach, called Tayab Iqbal, who I met at a recent seminar.
When his clients are struggling with time management or priorities, he suggests they put themselves in the last-day-before-holiday mindset and blitz through what needs to be done.
It allows laser focus. It suggests clear parameters. It leads to clarity of thought.
The secret to the hustle
So, what is it about that last day time crunch that gives you the edge?
#1: Perfect priorities
There’s something about the timebound nature of the day (or week) before holiday that gets you ruthless with priorities.
What can be delegated? What can be postponed? What can just be binned?
You think about what your team need, what your stakeholders need and what delivers your key objectives. The rest becomes utterly superfluous.
#2: Ferocious focus
Whether you’re in the office with your head down or sat in your home office with the phone on ‘do not disturb’, there’s a lot to be said for focused time. The fact that you just flippin’ have to means that you don’t get distracted.
You give your brain the chance to work through your tasks one at a time. Which is the way your brain functions at its most effective and creative. Guess what – you’re damn good at what you do (you wouldn’t be doing it otherwise) – so when you apply your best brain to your work, you absolutely nail it.
#3 Sensible standards
The other thing limited time does is it makes you get realistic on standards. I’m not suggesting you hit send on any old rubbish (we’ve talked about that) but you give yourself a break from perfect.
On any other working day, you could spend more time refining it. Step away and come back to it multiple times. Or review it with multiple people. On the last day in the office, good enough is good enough and we just let it go.
When will you next channel your ‘holiday hustle’ mindset? Given its power, why would you wait until your next pre-holiday anxious day to be that brilliant?