I’ve always said that the week before vacation, the prep time for your pending time off, is more hectic than the days after you get back. And I stand by that. But for many of us, that first day back to work after vacation can be pure dread. Over more than a decade of working in a corporate environment, taking vacations and having to work that day after, I came up with a few things that made it just a little easier for me to cope with the transition of vacation travel back to office life.
Regardless if your first day back to work is on a Monday or mid-week, the transition will be much easier if you have a settled home, a settled you and a settled work space.
1) If possible, don’t schedule meetings on your first day back to work. Dedicate at least the first half of your day to checking and returning emails and voicemails and catching up with team members. Think of yourself as if you’re warming up for a baseball game. You may have played a thousand baseball games in your time, but you still need to warm up for every game. Approach your return relaxed; and warm up.
2) I know, this isn’t right, but dedicate an hour of time on Sunday to sift through your emails from home so that when you make it into the office on Monday you mostly have the important items to deal with. Personally, I usually turn my work email off for the entire week while on vacation, then use just one hour Sunday night to prepare myself for my first day back.
3) Don’t come home from an extended vacation on a work night. Just as you deserve, you want to maximize the amount of time that we’re away. But if you come back on a work night, you just might be stressing yourself out by having to unpack, do laundry and re-teach your pets their names. If I have to return to work on Monday, I like to come back on Saturday. I do some unpacking on Saturday, relax in my home, make a list of things to do, go out for a light dinner, get a good night’s sleep and I have the full day on Sunday to read the paper, watch TV, cut the lawn, finish unsettled items, bang out some of my list and enjoy my house again. It’s a nice, soft return and makes Monday so much easier.
Vacation serves to reset your mind and to calm yourself from the everyday norm. It’s there for you to rejuvenate old ideas and freshen your outlook of your own personal goals. Don’t rush yourself back to work. Allow the affects of vacation to serve their purpose.
I just returned from vacation on Saturday. Did I work on Sunday? Yes. Did I work a lot? No, I slept in and even took an afternoon nap. I did some errands, then watched a baseball game and went to the movies. Just how the last day of vacation should be.
Sam Gorgone, Hometown Property Management Services, LLC