Getting Things Done on Vacation

GTD Holiday
I go on Holiday tomorrow!

2 weeks in the sun (hopefully) visiting the Algarve in Portugal. It is a well deserved break as I have been working flat out over the past few months and it is one of those vacations that just jump up at you last minute.

I am looking forward to spending some quality time with my wife and children and hopefully getting some great snorkeling in the sea. My eldest son and daughter have their fins and masks ready so I have a few snorkeling buddies on this trip.

Running my own businesses, it is impossible to switch off, and not in my best interests to do so. This means that going on vacation brings with it a whole new set of challenges to ensure that I Get Things Done whilst out of my normal environment. Two weeks in this electronic information age is a real long time to be cut off so I have had to plan well to ensure that all bases are covered. My emails will keep coming in, and my phone will keep ringing. We are working on closing some of our largest deals right now so I have to keep my finger on the pulse.

Back in the office, my usual system consists of OmniFocus on my Mac combined with my iPhone and a trusty Moleskine Cahier in my back pocket, of course with the golf pencil. Wherever you may see me, there is never a Moleskine too far away. I know I have said it many times but the inclusion of a simple notebook into my method of self organisation has had the largest impact on my success. I can take those little notes, as and when they pop into my head. Everything is collected, I have a great hit rate at collecting tasks. All helps in reducing those pesky Open Loops that must be avoided at all cost!

The Mac is not going with me. The 17″ MacBook Pro is great but I don’t want to take it to a beach resort with me. The iPhone and a few Moleskine’s will make the trip. I am also taking my EeePC with me, armed with a 3G USB card that has just been enabled so I can use it in Portugal without it costing the same as a small car per MB! So, email, and web browsing will hopefully be available, and at broadband speeds. This will also save me some call costs as it will cost me 50p (around $1) per minute to call back to the UK from Portugal. I have Skype on the EeePC so I can call home for 1.2p (around 2 cents) per minute, and that is much better.

One thing I find whilst on holiday is that my mind goes into overdrive. I think because it has less things to think about, with the most taxing decision being what type of shellfish to eat that evening. So I always seem to have fantastic ideas, most that I want to immediately research, but can’t because I am on holiday. I have been known to fill a notebook on holiday, and even used to make notes well before my obsession with carrying one with me everywhere.

So, the reliance upon my notebooks becomes even more of an issue whilst away and it is always handy to have one ready to collect the ideas and thoughts that enter my head. Every time I go away I always have a great list of tasks that need adding to my system currently in use. This time, I am going to try to process whilst away and utilise the facility in OmniFocus where you can email tasks to it. Therefore, I am to email all of the tasks to myself on an account which only OmniFocus is tracking so when I get back to my Mac, hopefully all of my tasks will be entered with the correct contexts and due dates ready included. This will save me some time when I get home which will let me focus on other issues that will no doubt require my attention.

I have some great books to read whilst away, all of which I will review on this site when I return.

Blog posts may be scarce, if not at all but I may try to blog midweek to see how my ability to process tasks whilst away is going.

See you all in two weeks!

Andrew..

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