We’ve all been there: experiencing post-vacation blues when returning to work. Getting back into a routine can be a source of stress and discomfort for some, but with a little determination and the right preparation, you can get back to your motivated self in no time. The reason I chose to write on this topic is because I myself was feeling some of this stress involved with coming back to the real world after my quick vacation to Miami over the weekend. However, experiencing this firsthand allowed me to do some research and give you some helpful tips on getting yourself centered post-vacation. When Monday rolls around and you find yourself stuck in relaxation mode, unable to motivate yourself, there are a few things you can do to make the process simpler.
1. Ease back into things, don’t try and force it.
One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make after a vacation or taking some time off, is trying to jump right back into work mode immediately. If you’re able to, give yourself about a day back at home to get your house in order and take a little “me” time to center yourself. The following day, you are more likely to feel refreshed and don’t have annoying tasks like laundry and unpacking in the back of your mind. Also, take into account time differences wherever you’re traveling and make sure you adjust your plans as needed. I should’ve taken this advice for myself, as my flight didn’t arrive until Sunday evening close to midnight, and I had to work the following day.
2. Make to-do lists for yourself.
I know this one sounds pretty obvious, but a lot of people slack off in this area and they aren’t able to make their action items into tangible goals unless they set aside time to make lists. You may feel a little overwhelmed while creating these lists, but by the end you will feel like you are much more prepared! I recommend making one to-do list before you leave for vacation, as well as one for after you get back. The pre-vacation list can have to-do’s that you might have to work on while you’re on vacation, but limit it so that you are actually still taking a vacation from work. For example, set aside just a certain amount of time to check emails and tell yourself that you won’t check them after a certain time. Entrepreneurs tend to work nonstop, but your clients need to know that you won’t be getting back to them right away if they email after dinner time. This applies both for when you’re on vacation and in your daily work life. Your clients need to understand that they must have realistic expectations of you especially if you are on vacation. Your other to-do list will of course have your work tasks that need to be completed when you return. Be realistic and don’t try to get everything done at once. Set due dates for yourself and maybe try out using a task management system like Basecamp, which I definitely recommend. They even have a mobile app so if you need to modify your tasks then you can do so from anywhere.
3. Get out of the house.
Traveling can be exhausting both mentally and physically, and chances are you’re feeling tired when you have to get back to work the day after you get back. You may have unpacking, laundry, and other things on your mind that can end up overwhelming you and ultimately make you less productive. The best thing you can do for yourself is to get out of the house and either go to a coworking space or coffee shop so you don’t have to stare at those suitcases while you try and work. Plus, if you choose to go to a coworking space, you can share some fun pictures from your trip with other coworkers! This gives some closure to your vacation time and gets you into work mode afterward. Being around other coworkers and getting back in the swing of things is done best when other people are around for accountability. The best thing I could have done for myself today is come to Posh Coworking, because not only did I meet a few great people to network with, but also I tackled my to do list I had created for myself. I can tell you for certain, there is no way I would have had the energy at home alone to be as productive as I am here in a coworking space.
4. Give yourself a starting and ending time to your work day.
Being an entrepreneur and having your own business means flexibility working from home or elsewhere. Make sure you give yourself a starting and ending time to your work day, especially if you’re working from home. Set a time to get to your work space and a time to leave or shut that door to your home office. This separates your work from your home life, and can be healthy not only for yourself but for your relationships at home.