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Make deadlines work for you
Deadlines provide one of travel’s hidden benefits
and can do wonders to your life.
‘I am due at the airport in three hours time and I still haven’t packed yet!’
Its called a deadline. Deadlines are an important factor in the preparation phase of your travel plans. If managed well, they are also one of the hidden benefits of travel. Along with a little bit of self-organisation, they can do wonders to your life and money.
Deadlines, plans and life
I’ve heard it said that deadlines are unprofessional, an artificial and inconsistent way of running one’s life. We should, instead, plan our lives on a minute by minute basis and avoid all distractions. We should live such a structured life that we are always up-to-date and on top of things, projects delivered on their due date.
The reality of human nature is that this just does not work. Life does get in the way of plans. Life is just too short to ignore an impromptu invitation to a long lunch which writes off the afternoon. Kids get sick. Friends ask for help. Trains sit for two hours before resuming their journey as did my train from York the other day.
A travel deadline is one of the key benefits of the journey itself.
Like you, I always seem to have a lot on my plate. As a result life occasionally gets on top of me. I find I don’t know which way to turn or what to do next. Travel deadlines are invaluable in focussing my mind on meeting commitments when this happens. Indeed, its one reason why we should schedule time away much more frequently than we do.
Deadlines and personal organisation
This is where good personal organisation comes in. When combined with a holiday deadline it provides a powerful combination to get things done.
So, before my last trip I made a large pile of papers, notes, bills and letters. I added everything from my home and office life that was outstanding. Next I went through each and put it onto its appropriate project. Every time I came across something that needed doing I entered it as a task. I use an invaluable app called Remember the Milk for this.
The app converted this into a manageable, prioritised task list. I then simply took the top task, did it, marked it as complete and moved on to the next.
It was my departure deadline that did it, though. Had I not booked my trip I would probably never have got round to sorting out my life and business. Truly it transformed my life and by extension the lives of those I serve.
And when we talk about our return from our journey in a later post we will discover important other benefits of leaving behind an empty desk and a clear schedule.
Go well, and safe journeys.
(This is the second in a series of three posts about travel. The first post discussed why travel needs to be given a higher priority in plans. The final post looks at the impact of taking a trip and its aftermath.)
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