About three weeks ago I took a trip to Hudson Valley for some renewal and rejuvenation. It was a great trip, such a nice escape from my day to day life. When I returned to my regular scheduled program, I took my queue from Marshawn Lynch and turned on my version of #beastmode. I'm still blown away by all the things I accomplished last two weeks. Everything from nailing a meeting with the COO (at my day job) to finalizing plans for the P&J Apparel one year anniversary celebration. Here are the 7 unexpected ways my winter getaway helped my productivity:
Before heading to Hudson I was assigned a major project at work. My approach to tackling the project was just off, there was no structure and it really wasn't a smart approach. I knew the pressure would be on upon my return and I needed to revise the plan quickly. Once I returned I had an epiphany and the plan became clear. Two or three flow charts later and a power point presentation and I was meeting with the COO. He was delighted with the plan and I'm leading a project that lays the foundation to change how we operate forever.
My desire to clearly communicate goes out the window when I'm overwhelmed. I've never been assigned a major project directly following the madness that is holiday season, so my head was down and getting work done was my first priority. As a result, my reports were suffering and spiraling. Once I returned to work that became clear and I set up hour long meetings with my reports. In addition, I met with all team members to brief them on the project and get their feedback. This was especially insightful and rewarding.
Completed my first ever editorial calendar
I'm really trying to take the blog to the next level this year and that means more organization and accountability. I have so many ideas for blog posts but never get to them because I write them in notebooks or on post-its. I decided to use MS Excel to create and maintain an editorial calendar with deadlines. It's very basic but it has done wonders for the blog.
I have a lot of ideas and sometimes that isn't a good thing. I'm finally learning how to edit and how to decide what to chase. I launch P&J Apparel last year and pieces of the vision were missing. As we approach the one year anniversary I was anxious about clarity and better story telling. Suddenly, last week it all became clear to me. I nailed down plans for our one-year anniversary, themes for collections, and locked in a vendor. I can't wait to see it all come together.
I crave structure because it instills discipline. Creating structure actually requires work and a clear mind. I recently started to think of myself as a creative because my whole life I wasn't really identified as one. All my teachers and family members labeled me; I was definitely supposed to go to law school. In order to get things done I had to structure my day to day and really focus in on my goals. I'm not there yet but, clarity of mind definitely helps.
Decreased Anxiety & Fear
With great ambition comes great fear. This is the part that no one sees and very few talk about. The fears and anxiety I have to push through every day can be overwhelming. By giving myself some free time I was able to let go of some of that, and focus on getting things done. I must say this, nothing is ever as scary as you think it will be they just need to be faced. Coming back to my day to day after Hudson I was relieved of some of my anxiety and fear. I had that fearless feeling that is the difference maker between me laying in bed and me jumping out of bed and facing my challenges.
Collaboration manifested itself in two ways over the last two weeks. First, I finally contacted a few people that I want to collaborate with this year; I was surprised at how well that went. I can’t wait to see things fall into place. The opportunity to collaborate with people you admire is always thrilling.
I also took the opportunity to collaborate with my peers at work on my project. Seeking their guidance got me some well needed buy-in. I'm actually a great collaborator, it's always fun to work with and learn from others.
I set out to Hudson for renewal and rejuvenation and I got so much more. A productivity boost is really priceless. The cost of the trip pales in comparison to what I accomplished upon my return. I’m grateful for the new perspectives.