The many positive aspects of springtime make it easy to overlook the negative consequences of going on vacation before the vacation actually starts. The call of the warm outdoors is just so tempting after a cold, wet winter and when the thought of a pending vacation is hovering, encouraging you to just ‘let it go until you’re back’…

I follow a process this time of year to keep my head in the game and focus on my objectives. For most of the year, I rely on my electronic devices to keep me organized and focused. But when I feel the temptation to play hooky coming on, I stop and find my index cards – not my iPhone, iPad or laptop – just good old-fashioned paper index cards. I begin each day by writing down my goals for the next 8-12 hours. Sometimes, I will carry that card around with me all day so I don’t lose focus.

The 3 x 5 index card sitting in front of me right now has five bullet points that I could oh-so-easily put off for a few weeks. I will resist this urge, though, and knock them out today so I am ahead of the game tomorrow. For me, listing and managing my daily goals is more realistic than managing goals for a week or longer. It feels good to draw a line through one of those to-dos. In fact, I am going to pause right now and finish one just so I can do that.

Boy did that feel good. The one I crossed off has been bugging me for a few weeks.

When I leave for my spring break trip, I will do so knowing I was productive, even the day before. The result for me is that I can transition more quickly into a state of relaxation. I find it especially rewarding to complete a complicated task that has been on my list for a long time – it has an amazing impact on sleep!

So here’s to being able to truly enjoy your (much-deserved) time off by staying focused and on task until you leave. My cards will be on my desk when I return so I’m not tempted to stay in a vacation state-of-mind when spring break comes to an end. We can talk about that next time…


— Becky Sharpe, President & CEO