Easing the transition from vacation back to work

Back form vacation

I take the first week of July off every year and one of the things that I try to do every time is make sure that I take as much of that week actually off as possible. I try not to do too many calls and I keep correspondence to a minimum because I want to come back refreshed and having really felt like I spent some time away and maybe even missing work a little bit. I was able to do that this time around and the challenge then becomes: how do I get back up and running after I’ve been missing in action for a week? So I’ve got kind of three things that I do to make sure that I can hit the ground running.

  1. The first is that in the same way that I try to makes sure that I’ve prepared well for leaving, I try to make sure that I come back well. That means that I don’t make my entryway back into the work-a-day world a distraction for the other members of the team.  I don’t want to have people have to take unnecessary time to bring me back up to speed. So one of the things that I’ll do is the Sunday night before I come back into work, I’ll send out a few notes to key people to get a gauge from them as to when is a good time for me to touch base with them. This way they have an opportunity to work it into their schedule and I actually make that entire Monday an open day if possible. I try not to have any calendar appointments on the day that I come back because I recognize that a lot of that day is going to be spent getting up to speed.
  2.  The second thing I do is I try to have a creative project as something to work when on when I come back.  I think one of the really neat things about vacation is it gives you the chance to separate a little bit from the daily grind. One of the advantages of that is it enables you, if you embrace it, to take a little bit different perspective on the way that you work. I want to try to take advantage of that to the degree possible. So I’ll try to use my time away as an opportunity to maybe think outside the box or maybe to take a new approach to a problem that has been a plaguing the office for a while.
  3. The last thing I try to do is I try not to sprint back. I think that one issue that a lot of us have is you don’t want to miss too much time away from the office.  If you’re a hard charger, the temptation is to always go, go, go. I almost feel that if you run too fast in the days right after you get back from the vacation you miss some of the opportunity to take advantage of the separation that I was speaking of earlier from the office. So I try tom the first few days that I’m back, take things in and see if that fresh perspective enables me to think about something differently.  A lot of what I’m trying to get out of coming back is ensuring that I take advantage of the opportunity to use that fresh look and fresh perspective to my advantage rather than trying to buckle myself right back into the grind.

If anyone else has any tricks or tips they use for coming back from vacation or ways that they try to leverage their time away from the office, I’d love to her them.

Thanks as always for reading my blog, I hope you will join the conversation by commenting on this post.

If you liked this post, please consider subscribing to this blog and following me on twitter @jmillsapps. I regularly give talks via webinar and speak at events and other engagements. If you are interested in finding out where to see me next please look at the my events page on this blog. If you would interested in having me speak at your event please contact me at events@joshmillsapps.com.

If you are interested in consulting services please go to MB&A Online to learn more.