Vacations are great, it's the coming back to work part that can be exhausting. So many people rush to get just enough done before they leave, with no thought of the stacks of work that will await them upon return.
It doesn't have to be like that. With a little time and forethought, you can make your return to work almost as pleasant and inviting as that beach in Cancun. Follow these suggestions, and starting again on Monday might have even more appeal than a road trip with the kids and mother-in-law. Here is my best tip along with more insights from my Inc. colleagues.
1. Set reasonable expectations.
Disconnecting from the world is a lovely idea, unless being disconnected creates stress and anxiety for you. If you will feel more relaxed by knowing what's going on, then by all means, check in every once in a while. Otherwise, you will ruin the vacation for the others around you. Before you leave, sit down with your family and negotiate reasonable expectations for how much you might check email, call in, or read finished paperwork on the trip. If you don't overdo it, you'll find support for your efforts and fewer disasters when you return.
2. Leave no stone unturned.
I work like hell to be sure that I'm AHEAD of my work and not behind it when I leave. For example, tomorrow I'm leaving on a several-day trip to meet with a publisher in New York City. At this very moment, I am working in an extremely focused way to get all of my loose ends tied up, and all my assignments completed. The first thing I did was to create a final to-do list of each item, and I am checking them off one by one. If it means I have to stay up late into the night to get my work done, then so be it. It will be done before I leave. Peter Economy--The Leadership Guy
Want to read more from Peter? Click here.
3. Invest your time up front.
I keep a checklist of the things I like and need to do before I leave town. Several weeks prior to my trip, I pull up the list and add to it any current projects or concerns to be addressed. It's easy to put things off until the last minute; avoid the temptation. Schedule time each day to take care of outstanding projects, update and inform employees, and reach out to clients to make sure their needs are met. It's well worth investing time in advance. Otherwise, it will be stolen from you upon your return. Marla Tabaka--The Successful Soloist
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4. Plan deadlines around holidays.
I plan project final deliverables just prior to weeks that include an already recognized holiday--for example, the week before July 4th or Memorial Day. The rush up to the project deadline and the hesitancy to start something new allows time during the holiday week for vacations or downtime. Also, if I plan to be gone for an extended period of time, I check my email at least once a day at a predetermined time to address anything urgent. I redirect as many of the emails as I can for others to handle. Vacations are a great way to see how well my team can handle the responsibilities they have been entrusted with on their own. Eric Holtzclaw--Lean Forward
Want to read more from Eric? Click here.