If there's one thing I believe I am good at, it is balancing productivity with activities when I'm on vacation. Yeah, it's the one time I'm supposed to relax but let's be real here, when you're the CEO of your own business, you really don't have much of a choice. That is, until you grow into an empire with several employees and a trusted manager to watch over the company when you're gone.
While I'm progressively building my business up to that point, I have figured out a schedule that works well for me and perhaps for you too. This schedule works best for weekend getaways but can be adjusted for week long trips, depending on who you're traveling with and how heavy your itinerary is.
The First Day/Night
- I always set up my work area on the first night. I take out my laptop, charge it (if needed), my external hard drive, notebook, pen, and whatever book I'm reading it.
- Before I go to bed, I prioritize deadlines, projects, and go over the trip's itinerary to see what time I have to work.
- I do not do any work the first night because I'm tired/jet lagged and need to sleep! I also don't want to start my vacation off stressing.
Second Day to Second to Last Day
- I typically wake up 3 hours before we have to leave the hotel. This gives me 2-2.5 hours of work time and 30 minutes to an hour to get ready before we head out for the day.
- Morning work loads are light to medium. I check/answer emails, write a blog post, take conference calls (30 mins or less), edit photos from the previous day and transfer them to my phone to schedule onto Planoly.
- Before I leave the house, I always set up my alarms for the day, which notify me when to post for my clients. I currently post on 4 Instagram accounts, including my own, every day.
- Upon returning for the evening/end of day, I will usually shower and change into PJ's before hopping onto my laptop for an hour before bedtime. Typically just checking emails and editing photos from the day.
Note: Sometimes I will end the night earlier when it comes to social events, such as skipping on after dinner drinks and/or the after party so that I can get some work done and still get at least 6 hours of sleep. A little sacrifice goes a long way.
The Last Day
- I'll wake up 2 hours ahead of schedule to work, pack-up, and get dressed. I typically will spend the first hour answering emails, editing any leftover photos or scheduling posts to be published onto Instagram that day. I also will go over my list of deadlines to make sure I completed what I needed during the trip (i.e. hotel room shots, any sponsored projects, editorials).
Note: I always keep my laptop on me during trips, either in my personal bag that I carry onto the plane or in my tote bag for car rides, so that I can easily access it. That also means that I do additional work while I'm at the airport and in the car, if I'm not driving.
Every person is different, some aren't early risers and hate waking up in the mornings so adjust this to fit your nighttime schedule instead. Whenever I'm at home in LA, I actually do the complete opposite (as I write this post right now at 1:26AM). I don't wake up until 10AM and sleep around 1 or 2AM, since I spend majority of my time with clients during the day and attend events at night.
Finding a schedule that works with you is always a trial and error process, but hopefully sharing how I do it can help you figure out yours.