Vacations are meant to refresh, to make us return to our daily lives ready to tackle anything. But if we wear ourselves out trying to “catch-up” on everything we missed while away, then a vacation is rather pointless. Read on for tips how to hit the ground running when you come home from your vacation.
Give Yourself An Extra Day
Try not to come home late on Sunday night then go to work bright and early Monday. You went away to get well-rested, so you don’t want to wear yourself out immediately and end up zombie-eyed by Friday. Come home a day earlier or take an extra day off if you have to. Make sure not to tell anyone that you’re back. If people know that you’re home they will want to see you, need favors, assume you are ready to return to your normal life. I suggest doing the same thing with your “away message” on your email. Give yourself a couple extra days, so that you’re not getting follow-up emails your first day back asking why you haven’t responded. Prioritize the emails in order of what is most important, not the order in which they were sent so if something does fall to the wayside, it won’t be a big deal. A couple extra days to get organized and answer backed up messages will take a lot of pressure off so you can start working on bigger projects.
Break Vacation Rules
I know. Nobody wants to do work on a vacation, but let’s face it: Traveling involves chunks of downtime that can be used to take care of some small work-related things. Why not return a few quick emails or do some easy paperwork while in transit, for example? If you or your children are students then this will be the time to get started on those pesky little assignments and cut down on the workload before you even get home by meeting your regular weekly deadlines. If this is an absolute deal-breaker for your vacation experience, then I suggest doubling up on your work the week prior to your vacation. You’ll start your travels with the knowledge that you already have your week taken care of. Keep an eye on your schedule as well. You know that you’re leaving town, so you know what you will miss while you’re away. Don’t wait till you come home to reschedule appointments that you’re going to miss. Do it before you leave so that you’re not spending your first day back penciling in events for yourself.
It’s tempting to leave your luggage packed in the upstairs hallway, but I urge you to resist. You’ll save yourself time later if you unpack everything and put it in their proper place as soon as you get home. The last thing that you want to be doing is hunting through the house and tearing apart roller bags to find the one thing that you need at the very bottom. Or worse: realize that you never brought it home in the first place. If you’re feeling productive, try to do your laundry the day before you come home. Your accommodation will have a laundry service or if you’re out and about find a public laundry mat. It will be one less thing for you to do when you get home which means more time to rest and get organized before returning to work or school.