While going on vacation is exciting, I think we can all agree that returning from a vacation is usually stressful. There’s a lot of mail, a ton of e-mails to go through and dozens of other things you need to get to that have been piling up while you were gone. It can almost seem like a punishment for ignoring your responsibilities.
Hopefully you will be relaxed and ready to tackle the many tasks that have been waiting for you upon your return both personally and professionally. However, just in case you get overwhelmed, here are some tips to help you ease back into reality:
1. Plan: Make a list of the things you need to do. Keep this list with you so that you can refer to it while you’re out and about.
2. Calendar: Schedule some time on your calendar when you can and will actually do the thing on your list. (See #1 above)
3. Easy Does it: If you’re overwhelmed with the amount of things on your list, break it down into smaller, more do-able pieces. You don’t have to do it all in one day.
4. Consolidate: When planning and calendaring, group items in the same area together. For example, if you’re going to the mall, perhaps you can make a bunch of stops that you need to make while you’re there.
5. Delegate: Your husband, your children, your significant other or another family member who will be involved in the festivities can and hopefully will be happy to help. LET THEM! Afterall, the holidays are for everyone.
6. Call in the Pros: You don’t have to do it all. Free up some time by hiring someone to do something that you just don’t want to do. One thing that comes to mind is to hire a cleaning crew instead of doing it yourself.
7. Re-think it: Maybe you don’t have to do something that was on your list. Just because you did it last year or the last several years doesn’t mean you have to do it every year. If there was something that didn’t work out or wasn’t necessary, cross it off your list.
8. Get started: The earlier you start, the less stressful it will be. Sh-t happens so give yourself ample time.
9. Make it fun:. Some suggestions: listen to great music while you’re doing whatever it is that’s on your list, ask a friend to meet you for lunch when you’re in between your errands, treat yourself to something nice when you’ve completed something on your list.
10. Take an extra day before heading back to work to regroup and catch-up on your life. Use the extra day to get things done at home so that you can focus on work when you return to the office.
1. Communicate: Notify people you regularly interact with that you will be unavailable and away from the office. If people know you’ll be gone, they (hopefully) won’t try to contact you which will significantly reduce the amount of voice mails and emails.
2. Clear it Out: Clear the inbox on your desk and your email inbox so that the new items you must attend to when you return will be obvious.
3. Get it done: Wrap up all of your “To Do’s” . This may be difficult depending on the type of job you have, but do the best you can. See if you can delegate things that haven’t been finished so they can be taken care of while you’re gone.
4. No Appointments: Make sure you don’t have any meetings or appointments the first day (or two) when you return to the office. You will definitely appreciate the time to get caught up.
5. Arrive Early: Upon your return, arrive an hour early to work. Use this time to check your schedule, messages, mail and e-mail before your colleagues get in and start asking about your trip and giving you more things to do.
Okay, now go and relax and know that when you get back from your vacation, you’ll have everything under control.
Have a great trip and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!