Vacations are great, coming back from them isn’t. Here’s how you can plan ahead to make your return to work not that terrible.
Whether you’re out for a long weekend or an extended vacation, you’re more than likely going to miss a meeting, a deadline, a whole lot of emails, or maybe you’ll just miss your coworkers. But because work takes up much of your life you will inadvertently think about it while on vacation no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
Traveling and vacation time can be useful to recharge and reenergize your mind, body and soul. And if you’re anything like me, you’ll fight the urge to talk shop with all your might, but as soon as an idea comes to you, you won’t be able to think about anything else until you’ve done something about it.
Instead of fighting to keep work off the brain, use it your advantage. Writing down those ideas can help you get ahead when you get back to work. Keeping a notepad with you (or using your phone’s notes app) allows you to jot down anything you think will be helpful or could be a good topic to discuss with your team when you get back. And as soon as it’s written down you will be able to relax again.
Time away from the office can generate new ideas. Many vacations are spent in areas of which we aren’t accustomed to in our daily life and often we are pushed beyond our comfort zones. Outside those zones is where we can find inspiration and perspective we wouldn’t find within the walls of our office.
Vacations are great opportunities for us to network outside our network. Chances of meeting someone you already do work with are pretty slim so take advantage of the new connections. Don’t interrogate them, but try to get to know them on a personal level. You’ve never know what kind of advice you’ll get, or be able to give.
Coming back to work after the weekend is hard enough, let alone a vacation. Maintain a positive attitude instead of dreading it. Prep for it, grab coffee or breakfast from your favorite place, listen to a good playlist, and skip any morning meetings. Schedule time on your calendar for the first half the day upon your return to get through emails and address any urgent matters.
When you are ready, schedule time with your team to discuss anything from when you were out and bounce around all the new ideas you wrote down from vacation.
And remember, there is a weekend coming soon. Or if you’re lucky, another vacation!