Have you ever felt overwhelmed after returning from a dream vacation? Opening emails, snail mail, returning calls, and doing the laundry? As an American, we could potentially spend the rest of your life on vacation and still make a good living, especially if you are an entrepreneur! But the truth is, few of us actually do this. Instead, we work hard, take time off when we can, and then return to work to tell the tales of our adventure to all.
So here’s some advice on a smooth transition from cocktails on the beach to the rat race!!
- Handle any open business BEFORE you leave Open all mail and pay any outstanding bills. Complete any pressing projects prior to the departure date. Pre planning ensures a relaxing vacation without worrying about things you left unfinished at home. This is what I do before every vacation. It sort of keeps me in check with my businesses and personal growth. I travel frequently so I see this as an opportunity to get it together so when I return it’s a cake walk!
- Come back Mid-week!
Do not go to work immediately after your return. Take the next day off so if you return on Wednesday or Thursday, you only have a couple of days to work upon your return. It’s a good way to ease back into the grind. Airline travel is cheaper mid-week too.
- Use the day off to prepare for your first day back in the office.
Not going to work the day after vacation doesn’t mean you don’t have to do any work before you return. Actually, I’d recommend doing this every Sunday. I often say a good Sunday is preparing for a great Monday! It only takes 15 or 20 minutes, but I find that a little bit of pre-planning makes my week day flow easier and as expected.
- Get up early. Meditate. Pray.
Get up early and start the day out with between 15 – 40 minutes of meditation. Set your intention for the day/week/month at the end of the meditation. Then go out and kill it! I often say, “Wake up Beauty, it’s Time to Beast!”
- Get your diet right.
Ok , you were away, you ate rich decadent foods and enjoyed the buffet all week. Now what? Go grocery shopping and plan your meals by buying healthy eats for remaining week. Let’s fix the damage done while you were away. (It happens to most of us!)
“Hit the grocery store either the day you get home or the very next, and cook up a batch of healthy, whole foods (without added sugar!) for your first few days,” suggests Diane Sanfilippo, author of the New York Times bestselling book, Practical Paleo. “This will ensure that your focus is on-point and keep your productivity from tanking.”
- Take a few minutes to find out what happened.
Now we get to the office–or at least to Monday morning. Maybe you’ve been in touch with your colleagues the whole time; maybe you’re better at vacations than most of us and have actually unplugged. Tell your colleagues to make a long story short! If they can’t say it in 60 seconds, it’s just not that important!
Delete a bunch of emails.
Chances are, you’re swamped with messages. Go through unread emails—what if you have 3000 unread emails?? Well, here’s what I do! I delete most without reading!!! I delete everything with no attachment and move on. These tend to be less important emails. If it’s important , they will email again. If it scares you to delete, then read the emails in last to first order. I suggest you review them using the LIFO (last in, first out) method: the most recent emails first. I find that many issues have already been resolved by the time I return to the office so checking the newest emails first is the most efficient way for me to get caught up. Believe me, I tend to just delete though! If it is that important they will email again or call me.
- Focus on big projects.
Once you get to work, start on that big project you purposely scheduled to start upon your return!!! Why? Think hustle and grind baby!
Instead of returning to work with a whimper, these projects/meetings will both get you excited AND force you to step up your game immediately. That momentum will carry through the rest of the week.
- Attention Entrepreneurs!! Don’t stop working.
Finally, some great American advice: Don’t take a real vacation in the first place.
As bad as this sounds, it’s what many of us are doing anyway. (And it’s the key to why I think we can paradoxically be on vacation every day!
“Don’t be afraid to blend in work during your vacation. Take advantage of the technology we have available today, such as Zoom, Skype, and mobile email, to stay productive. This also allows you to go on more vacations for longer amounts of time while not jeopardizing your productivity. Work while you play! Life could be just one big vacation!!!!!
Ciao, bon voyage and welcome back!