Given how long it has taken me post our vacation to get this blog article out, I know first hand it isn’t easy to get back to work after an amazing vacation. The summer months are the most popular time for vacations – especially with our kids out of school. A trip out of town, or even a “staycation” is well-deserved for everyone and it’s truly essential for us to maintain, not only our sanity, but also our productive time! I think we all know that not taking any time off can be just as bad for our health as it can be for our careers. Research shows that by being able to take a vacation or time off makes all of us a better worker. So don’t feel guilty about taking that vacation. It’s for your own good. 🙂 Our Tahiti trip early this summer certainly was great for us. I was just talking about some of the life long memories with our oldest daughter.
Getting back to work after that incredible trip can be rough for anyone whether you’ve taken a trip to Disneyland or spent time on your couch enjoying a Netflix binge. If you’re like me, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to spring right back into action on that first day back to the grind. Mentally, you’re likely still in vacation mode and forcing it may only make things harder on yourself. Take these gradual steps toward becoming a productive member of your office again:
Take an Extra Day: Getting back into the thick of it can seem like quite the task so it’s best to give yourself some time, perhaps a day or two, to get you mentally back into work mode. Some of us just may not be quite ready to get back to work, especially if we’ve been out of town. Take that extra day off when you’re back home to reset your clock. When you do get back to work, start to ease into your tasks. If possible, cross off some of the easy things during that first day or two so you don’t get burnt out or feel overwhelmed with work when you’ve just returned. If you’re anxious and excited to get right back to it after a few days out, all the better but you will benefit by easing back into it the first day or two.
Resist the Urge to Multitask: Multitasking is a necessary evil. It’s something we all have to do. But multitasking can put additional stress on the brain, and this can quickly unwind all the relaxing you just did on vacation. When you’re back in the office after vacation, you will have hundreds of unread e-mails to reply to, piles of paper to sort, and tasks and phone calls to return. Your instincts may kick in and you may start to attack everything at once. However, this will set you back and make you wishing and thinking about your next vacation. Check off one item at a time to help you regain focus and set priorities. That first week back, looks at your tasks and set up a weekly schedule to spread your work throughout the week. Having one massive to-do list can seem like an uphill battle; however, a day-by-day schedule of achievable tasks seems less daunting and can provide a more cheery outlook. One thing I have discovered is that the pile of emails isn’t that bad. A lot of it has gotten worked out by the time you get back and some of it just wasn’t that important anyway. Prioritize your most important tasks and get those done first.
Get Back to Your Routine: Vacation mode is a real thing and after a week or two away from work, all the things you knew off the top of your head will be pushed under the newly created memories of your time away. But don’t fret, all of your login passwords and client’s names will come back. Prior to taking vacation, you had your existing routine. It was that specific way that you did things to make your day easier. Maybe you went for a run in the morning and on Friday went out with your team. Whatever it was that you regularly did, whether it was at work, at home, or just around town, find that comfort again and it will go a long ways towards helping you feel more receptive to being back.
Appreciate the Time Away: Keep in mind that just because you’re back to being productive and taking orders doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to appreciate the experiences you had on vacation. It’s important to take the time to be appreciative to take time off. If you took pictures, feel free to share them with your teammates. Tell stories about the experiences you had or any interesting people you may have met in your travels. Do some more reading about the places you traveled. There are a number of ways that enable you to extend your vacation mentally. There are always things that I do on vacation that I think I am going to bring some of this back with me. Even if it is just sitting outside for 10 minutes with that chai latte, it all helps. The point of life is to create a life that we don’t need to run away from. I am building a life that I love every day. Just these little reminders of being able to travel or take time off can truly make you more appreciative of your business, which, in the end, makes it all possible.