For my recent vacation, I was away from work for a full 19 days.
That’s a lot for me.
During my time away, I logged in and checked on work stuff once. Just a quick five-minute peek. And then I went back to my vacation.
A lot of stuff happens over the course of three weeks. There’s a lot of email waiting for you when you home. Questions come up and clients are hoping for answers sooner than later after your return. Even though I worked very hard to make sure I was ahead of the game before my trip, and I left everything in competent hands, there was still catching up to do when I got back.
There’s also jet lag. Touching base with family and friends. Loads of laundry. Weeds to pull. Dusting to do. A routine to get back into.
In the process, I learned a few things about getting back into the swing of things after a long break…
Take a morning to review where you left off
When you’re gone for 2-3 weeks — or even one week — it’s easy to forget exactly where you left off with your projects.
The temptation when you get back from your travels is to jump right back into your work. What I found by doing just that is that you waste a lot of time thinking you’ve already done things you haven’t and thinking you haven’t done things you have.
Instead of leaping back in, take a morning to get organized. Review the email messages you sent before you left. Look through your files for active projects.
It doesn’t take much to get oriented, but an hour or two sifting through what’s what can save you a lot of time and frustration in the days to come.
Prioritize your email for a few days
You’ve probably heard the advice to not check your email first thing in the morning. When you do, your plans for the day tend to get hijacked in favor of other people’s needs and emergencies.
I tend to agree.
However, I make an exception for when I return to work after a vacation. When you take a break from work, the email piles up. That’s inevitable. And it can be a point of stress, knowing all that email is sitting there waiting for you to respond.
What I do is spend the first hour of each day on email until I’m caught up. That way, I move through the email at a steady pace, but I also leave time for other things.
Spin up slowly…
I tried to hit the ground running when I returned from my break. I got back one day and planned to put in a full work day the next. I had hit the point of missing my routine and I was looking forward to it.
But it was like my brain was out of practice. I had three very frustrating days where I was trying to focus and just couldn’t seem to do it.
It would have been easier — and more productive — to move back into my work schedule a little more slowly. A couple of hours the first day, three or four for the second, and then getting back to normal on day three or four.
Those are my three tips for easing back into work with as little frustration and stress as possible.
What do you do after you’ve been off for a while? I’d love to hear your strategies in the comments below.
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Mark Your Calendar
August 9: Our next Monthly Member Update is right around the corner. During this month’s session, I’ll be talking about the power of keep-in-touch marketing and how you can easily start implementing this strategy in your own business. I hope you’ll join me!
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That’s all for now. Make it a great week.