I have just returned from a trip of a lifetime. Perhaps one of the best vacations I’ve had – right up there with the 2010 Olympics, and our honeymoon in Italy. My realization has led me to a new perspective which I am striving to keep post-vacation. It is morning of day 3 PH (post Hawaii) and so far, so good.

Like so many of us, I needed this trip. We, as a family, needed this trip. I told all my clients, family, friends that I was unplugging. Not checking email (although I did email my mother to let her know we had arrived safely) or phone calls. I am not a brain surgeon, people can manage without me for a week. I am impressed with the reaction I received from clients and colleagues alike – good for you, you deserve this. Note, nothing, NOTHING, happened while I was checked out. While out, a professional association reached out to schedule a time for me to speak in May. By the time I responded, the dates that worked for me had been booked by other speakers. I’ll wait until June. I’m ok with that. A colleague who needed a reference texted, apologizing for bothering me on vacation. I gave her the parameters I had, that I would call the woman and try to make it work. I gave a stellar reference while looking out onto the Pacific Ocean and told the woman I had 5 minutes before my snorkeling skills were required. (My colleague got the job.)

What I have processed since my return is that not everything has to happen today. There are never enough hours in the day. I can drive myself crazy trying to create them. It’s not happening. What I can do – what I can control – is what I do with my hours. What might be a priority and urgent for others, may not be for me. What I realized and learned while unplugged is that I return to my real self when I am focused on what I want, what fuels me, what matters most to me.

My new mantra – BE HAWAII. To me that means play to my strengths. Focus on what really matters to me. Do what is necessary and Delegate, Delay, or Delete what is not a priority. My clients come first – always a Do. The word priority by definition means it comes first. We all know that – but often we forget it. Priority – it has the word prior right in it. My new tactic is to evaluate the urgency and truly prioritize.

I use the 1-3-5 task management system and it works for me – until I am derailed from it and focus on everything else. Like a squirrel. Try it out:

1 – the ONE thing that is timely and urgent and MUST happen today. There is a real deadline (Taxes are due on April 15) DO IT FIRST. This is the key to this system. It is a task that is weighing on you, and once you complete it, you open up space in your brain to be innovative and highly productive.

3 – Three things that you want to get ahead of, stay on top of, complete today so they don’t become urgent. (Deal with your taxes prior to April 14.)

5 – Five tasks that may be quick in nature – phone calls, emails, registrations, etc. that you want to complete today. They are not necessarily urgent or very important yet need to be accomplished.

My ‘1’ for today is to write this blog so my marketing manager can edit and post it.

Often there are multiple real deadlines. Know what they are ahead of time, not the day of. As much as possible, plan for them. Ask for help. Delegate.

Be Hawaii. Focus on what really needs to get done and what can wait until later (I can pay my bills tonight) or tomorrow. Be in control of your time as much as possible. Be in control of your perspective and mindset. Be in control of you. Be Hawaii.