Hit the Ground Running Coming Back From Vacation

You had a wonderful vacation in Tahiti. But now it’s Monday morning and you’re back at work. You have 100 e-mails, your voice mail message light is blinking furiously, your in box is spilling over onto the floor, and people are lined up outside your door needing your time. Tahiti becomes a pale memory. While there is no way to completely prevent after-vacation overload, you can do something to lessen the barrage.

Cabin of officeLeave a voice message on your phone and an out-of-office e-mail reply stating:
— You are out of the office
— When you will return
— A person people can contact (and who, hopefully, can deal with any problems)

If you have a temp fill in for you:
— Spell out daily responsibilities
— Leave a list of important phone numbers
— Let the temp know whom to contact with questions/concerns
— Ask someone to show the temp where restrooms, vending machines, copiers, printers and fax machines are located

When you return:
Girl with suitcase— Deal with whatever is most likely to need your immediate attention. Is your voice mail or your e-mail more important? Does your mail require your immediate attention?
— Use the subject line of your e-mails to prioritize those you need to read today versus those that can wait for another day

And if you’re going through a funk when you come back, don’t despair. It’s only natural to need some time to readjust. Check out a few of these quick tips and you’ll be back to yourself in no time!

Person hold briefcase1.  Change up your work environment.  You don’t have to paint the walls and bring in couches to breathe life into your space. Add a plant, a new picture, a new pencil holder. Reorganize your desk layout. A simple change could be just what you need to feel new … recharged … and energized.

2.  Begin with the end in mind.  If you come back to a repetitive or routine project, it’s easy to get pulled under by the ho-hum monotony. Before you start your day, remember why you are doing this project. Ask yourself, what’s the big picture? How will this project help me and my organization succeed? Then jump in.

3.  Join teams, organizations, and associations in your organization.  Starting a new project or team gives you a break from your daily routine. It gives you new perspective and more energy.

4.  Schedule breaks.  Don’t burn yourself out too soon when returning to work. If you don’t already have a set break schedule, make one. Getting up from your space every few hours will do wonders for your mind. If you have a set schedule, see if you can change it up or swap with someone else. A change of pace is enough to break from the cycle that’s keeping you down.

5.  Plan a reward for yourself or your team.  Nothing helps supercharge a team or person faster than a fun reward for a job well done. Go out to eat in celebration of your achievement. Take in a new movie. Have everyone bring in a treat to share.

Vacations don’t have to be the end of the good times. Just remember that you can have fun and feel energized in your regular responsibilities as well.

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