Summertime and the Cattle are Moulting

No, you have not accidentally landed on the Farmer’s Journal page. The title is inspired by an alternative version of that party classic Summertime, and it came to mind as I was reading the results of the recent “RecruitIreland” article on summer in which it showed that nearly one in three don’t take their holiday entitlements, and that unsurprisingly 58% of people said they were “too busy” to take their full entitlements. Am I the only person to find that a bit depressing? Is this because people are so devoted to their work that it’s really a vocation. Not really, Fifty-six percent said they thought about changing careers while they were on holiday, as well. Let’s face it, even God rested on the 7th day. Having said that, I know I have been guilty of taking work calls on holidays and answering my e-mails with the result that I don’t think I really properly switched off. So, how can we get out of this all work and some play (but only if I can bring my phone and check my e-mail) mentality. Here are some suggestions:
In the Boat or Not?

I asked one of my clients what was the most useful thing he had learned while we had worked together. He paused and then said “the boat story.” This was a reference to a story another client had told me about the Olympic rowing team. No matter what challenge they came across, their question was “is it inside the boat or not? If yes, they did something…if not, they delegated or let it go. So, what is in your boat that you could do without? Let go of? Delegate?

Get Organized

Ever spend 20 minutes rooting for a file that you had put somewhere? Ever spend 10 minutes playing hunt the stapler? Ever lose valuable time looking for an e-mail that was somewhere in the 400 in your In-box? Yep? Well, how about getting really boringly organized? How about being ruthless about how you organize your e-mail? Use the Rules to get your e-mail program to sort your e-mails as they come in (check with your technical support). Get your own office equipment…within reason. Unless you are the MD, I doubt you will get your own personal photocopier! I know it’s boring, but can you think of any ways to make it more fun (e.g., get someone to help you). It’s in the bigger cause of giving you more time and space. And that’s worth a little tedium, isn’t it?

Eat Your Elephant One 10-Minute Nibble at a Time

If you have to undertake a big project, don’t look at it and feel depressed. Instead map it out in tiny 10-minute chunks. I mean surely you can do something on the project for 10 minutes? Take a break for a few minutes, then take another nibble. The beauty of this is that if you focus on doing the best job you can for 10 minutes at a time, you are not wasting time thinking about how you are going to do something or worrying about it…you are just doing it. And if you are giving the program 100% attention, the quality of your work will improve dramatically.

So, this summer, really switch off…you will enjoy your holidays and your return to work a lot more.

Author's Bio: 

Anne Walsh is a life coach based in Galway. You can sign up for her free ezine Bring your best self to light at http://www.annewalshcoach.com/subscribe.htm . When you do you will receive a free 10 part e-course: Personal Mastery. She is also a qualified Life Blueprint Facilitator - a programme based on Laura Berman Fortgang’s Now What? book. This programme will help you discover your true life blueprint. She is only one of two people in Ireland with this qualification.