I was going to call this post, ‘Beware the Ides of March’…you remember…the warning given to Julius Caesar before he was assassinated. But then I thought, what if you’re not Shakespeare fans, and you just think I’ve gone loopy!
The warning is valid though, since so many people effectively ‘assassinate’ the first quarter of their year by succumbing to the ‘start of year blues’ and find themselves at the end of March, having wasted ninety whole days being down, frustrated and grumpy. Those first three months, which are so full of potential and excitement, are often dreaded by those who hate the short, dark days, the cold and wet weather, the tax return that has to be done, and that feeling that another long hard year of book balancing stretches out ahead of them.
Even those of us who, like me are irritatingly positive, and love the promise that this time of year brings, can be daunted by what we have planned to get done, and no matter how much we love what we do - we also know how hard we’re going to have to work, to achieve the targets and goals we have challenged ourselves with.
So for the past two years, the first thing I have plotted in my calendar has been my holidays…and what a difference it’s made. It’s been a true revelation for me…and my thanks must go to Daniel Priestley (author of Entrepreneur Revolution) who suggested it to me in the first place.
You see, once you have your holidays in your calendar…and booked…and deposit paid (so there’s no pulling out), you have a milestone to work towards. Particularly if you book one in the first half of the year and one in the second, you know that your hard work and achievements, will be punctuated and rewarded by a period of rest and relaxation.
Booking your holidays this far in advance takes less time too. I don’t know about you but I had previously left holiday booking to the last minute and it became a stressful, frustrating chore that ate up way too much time when I could least afford it. I booked this year’s holidays back in November, and trust me, the knowledge that it’s done and that I have my reward to look forward to, puts a real spring in my step and spurs me on to get everything done, so that I can completely switch off and enjoy it.
We all know the value of holidays. We all know how they re-energise both our mind and our body. We all know that when our brain is officially ‘switched off’ and not thinking about our business we are able to see the big picture far more clearly and have many of our best ideas. So why wouldn’t we take them? Why wouldn’t we plan and book them now?
Do it. Do it today, and reap the rewards of greater personal effectiveness.
If you struggle to plan and manage your time effectively, then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Marianne is the author of three books, and is currently working on her fourth, whilst regularly writing her blog, we hope you enjoy it :-)