Monday mornings can be foggy all by themselves, but the morning after vacation can be completely gloomy. We all look forward to taking vacations; I’m back just today after 9 days off. My problem has always been gracefully exiting the workplace just before the time off and again entering back in.
NOT working is a harder subject for me than working has ever been. We won’t talk about the tornadic activity that accompanied my departure last Friday, but I’d like to share 10 steps to getting back into the groove with your composure in tact:
- if out of town, always come back a day early to unwind
- don’t listen to messages on Sunday night in “anticipation” of Monday’s return
- prepare lunches/dinners for a few days out and keep it simple
- shower and set out clothes the night before
- wake up an hour earlier than usual
- type up a quick list of thoughts off the top of your head
- don’t skip breakfast
- walk into the office smiling and keep the chit chat to a minimum
- close your door and breathe; unless you’re the Kremlin, it’s not world peace
- take one little bite at a time
- (bonus) if you forgot you had an article to write, sit down and knock it out while enjoying your morning coffee (another reason why that extra hour is so important)
I know, none of this is rocket science but getting back into the swing of things and having your family and co-workers happy to be around you are two totally different matters. Know your limitations, your boundaries and your “have to’s” for the day. Go easy on yourself and others. Don’t work late your first day back, but make every minute of that day count. Don’t skip meals or breaks. Take time to laugh and share a funny moment of vacation, but stay focused.
If you’re not a work-aholic this advice is not for you; but if you sometimes struggle with knowing when to quit or even how to quit, you get it. And in case you’re wondering, this is a reminder to me from me, with love, as I head back into the office today. Wish me luck!