Do you start dreading going back to work the minute you leave on vacation? Does the thought of all those emails and tasks piling up prevent you from enjoying your time off?
Most people do struggle with this, and many seek to resolve it by keeping up with email and work while on vacation. Hey, whatever works for you (but it doesn’t sound like much of a vacation).
We just got back from 72 hours of disconnected bliss on San Juan Island, and I interviewed Warren on our last morning to see how he was going to adjust to going back to work.
Here are 5 tips for you to ease back into the workweek after a vacation:
- Have a quick meeting with your closest coworkers when you get back to get up to speed on things that happened while you were gone. This one step will save you hours on email and phone followup. (If you were really prepared, you would have designated one or two of them as your contact points for clients/coworkers while gone and let them take care of anything urgent or important).
- Sort your email by person or project and process the most important ones first. Start with the most recent to make sure you aren’t solving problems that have already been resolved.
- Scan the rest of your email and delete/archive anything that you know was already resolved (minor emergencies, reminders of meetings that have already passed, etc.). Be brutal about this – everyone knows you were on vacation, and if something is truly important and you delete you will get a followup email.
- Make any return calls after you’ve caught up on what’s going on. It is really unproductive and frustrating to call a client back when you don’t know what’s going on, which means you’ll have to call back again. Get the scoop first.
- Take your full lunch break and leave work on time. No one should be punished for taking a vacation, and we typically are harder on ourselves than anyone else would be about catching up after time off.
Vacation is meant to recharge your batteries. Ease back into work just like you eased into vacation (you didn’t stop thinking about work right away, did you?). If you make yourself frazzled on your first day back, you just lose that relaxed feeling you gained on vacation.