SUMMER VACATION, here we come!! Vacationing is such a great part of our lives, and so needed! The problem we run into whether we’re a solo business owner or working for others is re-entry. Coming back to work is one of the hardest things about vacation—wouldn’t you agree?
I just returned from a trip to Italy and was out of the office for nearly three weeks—THREE WEEKS! While there, I was with a large group of people for the first 10 days and with one other friend for the 2nd half of the trip. Many conversations I heard were centered around coming home and all that was waiting when people came home. And once I got home, so many people were saying to me, “isn’t coming home and going back to work hard?” “Re-entry is so hard.” Just yesterday, I had a friend who just returned from vacation say to me that she was dreading going back to the office today after being gone because there was so much to catch up on. The reality of re-entry is no joke, and I am here to hopefully alleviate some of the overwhelm and pain of being gone. I decided this month to revisit my tips from a year ago and updated them a bit—I hope they help!
1. Calendar carefully! If you’re going on vacation, DO NOT schedule any meetings or appointments the day after you return. Even if you return on a Friday and have the weekend to “recover,” leave Monday open! This gives you a day to look at your projects, make a prioritized plan of attack, sort through emails, and straighten your desk and office. Don’t plan to meet anyone or be anywhere, but do plan to be in the office to reacquaint yourself with your business!
Along those lines, also use this first day back to catch up on communication and correspondence. In other words, clean up your email! Delete what isn’t necessary, respond to things that need responding to, and take some that are related to tasks and transfer the tasks into your calendar for the week.
2. When you do start reengaging, choose ONE OR TWO things to do. Do not set yourself up for an entire day or week of cramming in as much stuff as you can to try to “catch up.” Truly put things on a list or in the calendar in order of priority. As well, try to work a couple of half days so that you have time to do what you need to for yourself and the house— unpacking, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. Trust me on this; you will be so much less overwhelmed if you take some time to ease in and find your rhythm again.
3. Delegate BEFORE YOU LEAVE. What things are in the works that someone else can put into motion or work on while you’re gone? Even if you don’t have an assistant, get creative! Put your email on auto-responder, send things to the printer, engage fiverr.com to do a project that can be sent off to someone else. Don’t forget to set up your bill pay before you leave as well. You can do this!! One of the best things that happened while I was on my recent trip was I sent off my newsletter to my assistant before I left and gave my team four or five things to work on while I was gone. When I came home, it was such a great feeling to know that my business had been moving even while I was on vacation. Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty to do when I got back, but I didn’t have to catch up! How can you set yourself up for this?
4. DECIDE what you’ll attend/do and what you won’t ahead of time, meaning before you go. You can afford to be choosy. To do this ask yourself what is going to actually feed your business or feed your soul? Do those things that will drive you forward and that will let you ease into being fully back and not exhausting yourself. When I returned, I had two programs that were starting, so I had scheduled all of those dates before I left. As well, I knew from all my activities, I would need a massage that first week as well as time to get over my jet lag from being overseas. These were the highest of priority, so they were what I did along with email management. Everything else could wait. I didn’t do any networking the week I got back—all of that came a couple weeks later. Listen to what you need and don’t panic! Everything will get back into rhythm in due time.
5. Return to a ROUTINE as soon as you get back! That means return to your time zone. Get up, get that cup of coffee, meditate, exercise, and look at the day ahead. Even if you’re starting with one thing, as recommended above, do the routine. You’ll adjust to being back much quicker because of the muscle and brain memory! And know that you may need to nap—it’s ok!
I hope you are going on a little vacation–even if it’s in your backyard! Unplug, leave your desk and office behind for a few days (or even a couple of weeks), and come back ready to work. Follow these tips to make that re-entry a little bit less painful.
Want a little help preparing for vacations? Contact Julie today for a FREE Discovery Session