For most people, taking a vacation (whatever your definition of that might be) is necessary to maintaining some level of work/life balance. Sometimes it’s nice to leave the office and not think about work for a few days. And like any good vacation, it has to come to an end, and you have to come back to reality; and with that reality comes an adbundance of unread e-mail, a list of things to do, and a feeling of “Where do I start?” Here are a few things to help get you back into the groove without losing your mind:
Now, Soon, and Later…
You’ll undoubtedly have e-mails, voicemails and a stack of papers to go through when you get back. This will probably be overwhelming, but you can make this a lot easier on yourself by organizing these based on their priority level. Use these three categories to get organized quickly:
- Now – Examples: Invoices that need to be paid, e-mails labeled “Important”, and paperwork that might be overdue.
- Soon – Examples: Projects that you started before you left and e-mails that you may have received more than a few days ago.
- Later – Examples: Longer-term projects that can be put off until you’re settled
Plan Your Return Carefully
Most people plan vacations so they can take full advantage of two weekends and around 9-10 days in all. However coming back to work with a full-week in front of you can be a daunting task sometimes… try returning in the middle of the week – maybe a Tuesday or a Wednesday. You might find it easier to get into the swing of things.
Also, try scheduling your return for a day or two before you have to go back to work. Having time to unpack and relax when you return will leave you feeling less stressed and more rested. If you’re not leaving town, give yourself some time to mentally prepare to go back to work.
Tell “The Story” All at Once
If you were fortunate enough to visit an exotic destination, visit long-lost relatives, or just have an interesting vacation story to tell, you’ll probably want to share it with your co-workers. And they’ll probably want to hear it. To avoid telling the story over and over again, offer to share your story and pictures at lunch. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, but you’ll save them a lot of time too.