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The last hour

The last hour is always the hardest. When it’s the last hour before you go on vacation it will go one of two ways:

  1. Each minute will feel at least ten times longer. You’ve wrapped up projects, prepared out-of-office auto-replies in your email, recorded your out-of-office voicemail greeting and you’re packed up and ready to go.
  2. Either because you didn’t plan properly, or because a last-minute task that must be completed before you go showed up, you know there’s a chance you’ll be working past quitting time.

I’m usually prepared and most of the time my biggest problem is finding ways to pass the time before I can head out the door, without starting any new projects. But this was not the case before my last vacation.

I was ready. My task list leading up to this day was comprehensive and I’d been steadily crossing items off the list. By Friday there were only a few minor tasks left, which included setting up my out-of-office email and voicemail greetings. At four o’clock I started cleaning up my inbox and filing emails. I flagged emails that were pending responses from others for review upon my return. I checked my calendar for the week after my vacation to see where my priorities should be then.

Ten minutes into this a new email came in from Technical: We have brand-new data sheets that we must publish to the website by Monday morning. There’s only about hundred of these — no problem, right? Guess email clean-up is going to have to wait.

Fortunately, the system was cooperative and files uploaded without any major hang-ups. I was able to add these to the required page and have someone look at the page before it went live. I hit the final publish button just as people started heading out the door. No sweat. Definitely ready for this vacation now.

Written for WordPress’s Finding Everyday Inspiration course. Day 14: Recreate a Single Day/Hour

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