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How to Return from Vacation

podcast Jan 11, 2019

Has this ever happened to you? You return from vacation all rested and raring to go.

But...you can't.

You have the best of intentions but you just can't seem to get moving.

If you have, rest assured...you're not alone. We've all been there. Even me...Mister Productivity!

Not too long ago, I returned from visiting my parents.

For the first time in a few years, it was just me and my parents.

I had a great time but…as an entrepreneur…

I returned ready to get back to work stronger than ever.

That's when reality hit.

I scheduled a half-day to catch up - which was my first mistake. It took far longer than that to catch up.

But once I did catch up, my motivation wasn't there.

For the rest of that week!

Why does this happen?

I mean, I knew what needed to be done.

That wasn't the problem.

Getting back into the swing of things was.

Let’s talk about BEFORE you leave for vacation

Thing #1: make sure your calendar is clear.

Put your time off on your calendar as soon as you know it is firm. Even if it is not! Yes, put tentative vacations on your calendar.

Delegate what needs to be done in your absence.

Make sure they know the how, what and when! Give them the courtesy of training them for more than a few minutes.

Don’t forget to inform others. Who else needs to know you’re going to be?

If you are a regular attendee of any meetings, let the meeting planners know you won’t be there and see if there is anything they need from you or if you can send someone in your stead (don’t assume).

On your last day

Make sure that everything you can complete is done & touch base with your backup. Do they have any questions?

Consider leaving your contact information for people if they need to get in touch with you but tell them under what circumstances they can reach out. Be very specific. Put it in writing.

As you leave on that final day

Make sure your desk and office are clean.

Turn on "out of vacation messages" on your phone and email.

When you return

Make sure you are well-rested. Consider arriving earlier than usual.

Prepare yourself, despite all your preparations before you left, for a mess.

If you delegated, meet with that person. How did it go? Anything you need to know?

Take a deep breath.

Triage.

Understand you can’t get caught up in an instant - unless you did the before you left stuff very well and the person(s) you delegated to were star people.

In addition, when you return to work from time off…

  • Accept reality. There is no point in fighting the truth. If you're struggling with getting back into the groove, that's okay. Accept it. Note: I'm not saying stay here!
  • Start small. Okay, you're stuck. Maybe you're still mentally on vacation. Then do this: start and complete a small task and get that first victory. Celebrate it (not by being lazy the rest of the day/week). In most cases, a victory will get momentum to begin to move.
  • Build that momentum. As you begin to pile up the small victories, you will notice a change in your attitude. This will be followed by more victories. Keep on keeping on.
  • Don't forget to breathe. Sometimes, once that train of momentum starts to roll, we don't want to stop for fear that momentum will stop. But you must. You need emotional and physical breaks. Don't worry about momentum. Once you've got it going, it'll still be there when you get back from your break (unless your break is another long vacation).

A review

  1. Be proactive.
  2. Expect the unexpected.
  3. Expect the worst, hope for the best.
  4. Prepare!
  5. Take the time to train people to do things in your stead.

Your turn

How do you prepare for vacation and how do you return?

Leave a comment below and share!

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