Last week, I wrote about 5 Ways to Avoid Needing a Vacation After Your Vacation. As promised, today I would like to share with you a few things I did once I returned from my trip that also proved to be very beneficial.
Coming home from a vacation and getting back into the swing of things at the office is hard to do, no matter how much you love your job. But there were several things I did that really helped me recover without feeling too rushed, while still catching back up and reconnecting with my team.
- I enjoyed my extra day off. Like I said before, taking that extra Monday off really made the biggest difference for me. But it meant slaying a lot of guilt vampires as it’s pretty hard for me to enjoy a day knowing I could be getting things done at the office. However, being able to catch up on all of my personal to-do list items and truly rest after a trip full of hiking and driving really did prepare me to hit the ground running the next day. Not to mention it made my first week back a four-day work week!
- I arrived at the office early to regain my bearings. This tip is also very preferential. I’m a morning person and would prefer to come in an hour early to start working through my email before the conversations begin. Some people would prefer to sign on to their outlook the night before they return, just to get a feel for what would come the next morning. I think both plans are helpful in reducing the culture shock associated with returning to work.
- I accepted the fact that my morning wouldn’t be very "productive." I put productive in quotes because it was still productive, but it was more focused on getting back in the game than it was on accomplishing specific tasks. The mindset actually relieved some of the pressure of being back at work. I knew that my morning needed to consist of catching up on emails and meeting with my team to see what I missed and enjoy the conversations with them. It takes the edge off of diving back into intense work when you get to enjoy the people around you and remember why you love your job; because at least for me, the people are the biggest reason I love my job. This included intentionally leaving for lunch with coworkers to get away for a few minutes, but still have a chance to continue to catch up.
- I spent my afternoon prioritizing and communicating. Which mostly looked like making a clean to-do list of the top priorities that had arisen over the past week, and communicating my plan of action with those affected by it. This allowed me to even check several things off the list that afternoon as I took the “easier” items and focused on them, knowing I needed to ease back into work. This helped me leave that day at a decent hour (don’t work too long your first day back) feeling productive and not overwhelmed.
- I did NOT spend the day wishing I was back in Montana. As much as I love my job, I’m not going to lie to you, the beautiful mountains at Glacier National Park were calling me back (and to be honest, they still are). But it is imperative that we make a conscious effort to come back from vacation with a positive attitude and a gratefulness for the job we have. A job at a company that encourages us to take care of ourselves and enjoy our time away from the office and completely disconnected. I chose to focus on how great it was to be back with a team that has become like family.
All things considered, it’s hard to come back from vacation and have a week that isn’t filled with challenges. But I’ve learned that implementing these simple things really did help me come back with a better attitude, more energy to work hard, and a clearer perspective on my job and my appreciation for my company. Hopefully, these tips are helpful for those of you who are still planning vacations before the summer winds down, or can be jotted down for those upcoming Thanksgiving and Christmas trips. Either way, I hope these lessons I’ve learned can be helpful in the future as we all strive to #beEvenBetter, even in our vacation planning. Happy travels!
About the Author
Megan Hudson is a former intern whose experience at HORNE changed her mind about what it means to work at a regional firm. As a cyber risk supervisor for HORNE Cyber, she specializes in IT assurance and risk services.