Vacation brain… it seems to creep up a few days before your trip and can linger on when you return to work.
Whether you’re going to Europe, a tropical island, a cabin at the lake, or anywhere else – we look forward to resting our minds and bodies! Vacation is a great time to refuel, refresh and recharge your batteries, but once the fun is over, we must get back into the groove of work. This is more challenging than it seems, so here are some tips to help get you back into a productive work mode.
Create A Gameplan to Tackle the Workload
The first thing to do once you take a seat at your desk is to make a list of any tasks you need to handle to catch up and get back on track. I suggest organizing your list by priority so that you can focus on the most important items first.
If you find big lists intimidating, once you complete the critical or time sensitive tasks, start with little things that you can accomplish quickly. Knocking out your easy-wins eliminates the bulk from your long list and reduces stress while completing the other tasks.
I use this strategy for answering emails since my inbox is the thing that explodes the most anytime I’m out of office. I scan through all my emails, delete trash, star important emails and handle those first.
After that, I take care of emails that only require a quick response or a simple action that won’t take up too much of time. Then, my inbox number gets smaller and smaller, and stress levels decrease as well!
Keep a Positive Mental Attitude
Take it step by step and try not to feel overburdened with the tasks at hand. I know when you first open up that inbox or face challenging projects, mustering up the energy and willingness to get started is a struggle. So, just keep taking it one thing at a time and focus on that one task rather than thinking of everything else you need to accomplish.
Before you know it, your list will be almost complete and you’ll be back on track. It may take a few days to get completely caught up, but remember the time you had to unplug and unwind was worth it! Keep reminding yourself “you’ve got this,” and you’re fully capable of dominating any to-do list you have.
Additional Tip – Preventative Measures
Before you head out for vacation, find some teammates who can take on a few responsibilities while you’re out. If you reciprocate whenever they go on vacation, I’m sure it won’t be hard to find a couple of extra hands.
Delegate something small – like monitoring your emails or support tickets to handle anything urgent. Or perhaps there are other duties or projects that they can keep an eye on or manage for you.
By doing this, you can not only relax while you’re on vacation knowing your teammates have your back, but you can also return to a less overwhelming workload.
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