Seven Ways to Ensure that your Summer Vacation is Really Time Off from Proposals

Summertime is vacation time, and it is also the busiest time of the year for many proposal professionals. Squeezing in a vacation during the fourth quarter of the Federal fiscal year can be difficult, but it can and should be done.

Below are seven ways to ensure that your well-deserved summer vacation is really time off from proposal work. It is based on an article that appeared in the July 2017 issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

1. Plan your vacation early. Months in advance of your intended vacation, schedule it so that your proposal development work is not disrupted. This means coordinating your vacation schedule with colleagues.

2. Talk about your vacation often. Weeks before you leave, start telling your colleagues about your vacation so they are not surprised. If you talk loudly and often enough, people will say, “Aren’t you going to Cape Cod soon?

3. Tie up any loose ends. In the weeks before your vacation, focus on scheduling and tying up loose ends to avoid any major disruptions.

4. Communicate what should be done in your absence. Let your supervisor and colleagues know exactly in writing about major deadlines, deliverables, and milestones.

5. Use your vacation as professional development for colleagues. Taking a vacation is a great opportunity for your colleagues to take on new responsibilities. Make sure that they know what you expect in your absence.

6. Enforce reasonable expectations. Do not encourage everyone to contact you while you are on vacation. Limit your contacts to those individuals who are most essential. Better yet, discourage all your colleagues from contacting you, or else your vacation time may disappear.

7. Make a plan for your return. Before you leave for vacation, figure out what you must do immediately upon your return.

You have earned your vacation. Plan for it carefully, and you are more likely to enjoy yourself and happily forget about proposals.

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