Nobody wants to work while on vacation, but if you do find yourself in that situation, think of it this way: it’s better to go on vacation and do a little bit of work in the mornings and evenings, than to not go on vacation at all.
With that in mind, here is some helpful advice for staying organized the next time you find yourself having to juggle homework and play.
You might just find that with a bit of diligence and forethought, work doesn’t hinder your ability to make the most of your trip.
Don’t Forget to Bring Your Mobile Devices!
Obviously, the first and most important tip is to bring your laptop, tablet, and smartphone with you. This should be a no-brainer, but it’s worth remembering. Your laptop will likely be your primary work station. But your tablet and smartphone can play a crucial role too, as they allow you to check emails, reply to text messages and phone calls, and even take class meetings, without having to rely on your laptop.
If you are going to be reachable at all hours of the day, it’s better to limit what you have to bring with you – your mobile devices allow you to do just that. And if you are checking your email on vacation, don’t feel too bad, because you’re not alone.
Set Aside a Time of Day for Work
If you must do homework on vacation, try to do so either in the morning or the evening (or both). Ideally, you would limit checking and responding to emails during these windows as well. If that isn’t possible, at least set this time aside for actual work – you know, drafting up essays, doing research, finishing up the numbers, and whatever else you might have due.
This will allow you to enjoy yourself during the day; you won’t feel that you’re being pulled in two different directions. The minute that work starts to intrude on your vacation time is the minute you stop enjoying your vacation. Don’t let that happen.
Download a Day Planner or Homework App to Your Phone or Tablet
A to-do list or day planner app, like Todoist or Wunderlist, can be a life saver when it comes to working on vacation. You can quickly make yourself a to-do list, receive reminders, check off tasks as they’re completed, and more – all of which will help you tackle your work load in a timely and efficient manner. If you know that you have work to do, and you know that you will have lots of distractions keeping you from that work, don’t leave it up to memory. Set up a to-do list, send yourself reminders, and stay organized. Only that way will you finish everything on time.
Don’t Procrastinate! Be Proactive and Organized to Get Things Done Ahead of Time.
The last thing that you want on vacation is to work a long night because you failed to stay on top of your responsibilities. Be proactive, don’t procrastinate, and commit yourself to getting your tasks done on time (if not ahead of time). Remember, if you feel that your work is starting to encroach on your vacation, you won’t be able to enjoy yourself.
In fact, your behavior may even impact your family. Don’t make it difficult for your loved ones to enjoy their time simply because you don’t want to set aside a couple of hours a day to get work done. Work in the mornings and evenings and stay ahead of the curve!
If You Can Squeeze in the Time, Make a Point of Checking In
It might not be necessary, but if you can, try to call in or hop on a video chat to check in with the team. A quick phone conversation is often far more enlightening than a long, extended email chain when it comes to getting to the bottom of a topic or idea. If you have questions or concerns, or would simply like feedback on one of your tasks, video conferencing might prove helpful for you.
Just be mindful of your surroundings, as ambient noises can prove incredibly distracting. To help avoid this, some mobile devices are now equipped with machine learning that filter out these unwanted elements. If you can find such a device, get it! Oh, and make sure you’re calling in via Wi-Fi or you might be in for a surprise when your mobile bill arrives.
Use a Collaboration Tool or Project Management App
Finally, consider using a collaboration or project management tool like Basecamp or Asana to stay abreast of the latest updates and project developments. If your team or class group already uses such a tool, great! If not, it might be a good idea to suggest such a solution.
These platforms allow individuals to easily collaborate on a project, contribute their own feedback and comments, and easily track a project’s development from inception to completion. Best of all, many of these platforms also offer file hosting. That means that file you worked on in Bermuda won’t go missing or be misplaced! It’s also worth noting that many collaboration tools like Asana offer a free version, which might be perfect for a small school project. Rest assured, you can find a solution that will meet your budget.