How to Set Up For Success BEFORE You Leave for Vacation
What you’re doing before you leave?
I love this photo. It was my first retreat in Florence Italy. It was ‘aperitivo hour’ and sitting on this bench, we marveled as the city swelled up around us. Cats skittered across the street. The local citizens sat amicably on benches, idly discussing the events of the day. We poured our own succulent red wine from the glass decanters on the counter. The waiter told us we were on the honor system to tell him later how much we drank. Our eyes bugged out of our heads. Honor system? Really? The glass window of the butcher shop behind us was a beautiful back rest as we sipped.
Zeena Gupta, a member of my Mastermind, asked this important question as we ready for the retreat in Morocco 18 days. “What do you do to set up your team and yourself for success before you leave?”
🇲🇦 I leave a memo with all the active projects that are on my plate before I get on the plane. My team has context if a question comes up. I decide a head of time, “What is a priority, What needs me specifically? What needs delegation?” while I’m gone.
🇲🇦 My right hand person agrees to send me a summary every few days of things via email. We agree ahead of time, that she texts (modality of contact) me if something is a level 4 (level of seriousness) issue & needs my immediate attention.
🇲🇦 My out of office responder turns on the day I am leaving, indicating the reason I am gone, the duration I am gone, when to reasonably expect a response. The contact’s email in the event of urgency. I will also start to send notes to my members this Sunday, alerting them that all Mastermind calls are suspended for that week
🇲🇦 The flight to Casablanca is 7 hours. I divide up what work I can do with or without wifi. My brain always freezes once I’m at the airport, so this is a good reminder. I always take time to journal: What is my current goal? Where am I now? Where do I want to be? What needs to change?
🇲🇦 I ensure there is white space in my calendar before I leave. When running a retreat, attendee’s ‘stuff’ starts to kick up. Questions. Complaints. Asks. It’s important to be there to answer any last minute questions. Upon return, that white space is even more important. No meetings. No calls for the first 2–3 days, so I can catch up.
🇲🇦 I start to tackle that to-do list on the return flight, so its not so overwhelming when I’m back on terra firma. Even more important, is to prioritize.
🇲🇦 I write myself a letter while on the trip, capturing the feeling I had in the moment so I can read it when I’m back in New York. Organizing trips means I’m always stressed about everyone else having a good time. I’ve gotten into this little practice, to remember the special moments for me.
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