First Week Back, Did You Plan?

Vacations – they’re wonderful things, right? They’re a time for you to disconnect from your business and reconnect with yourself and maybe your family (if you invited them 😉 ).

The other week I wrote about how great vacations are. And behind the scenes I planned for my vacation by putting together my newsletters in advance, catching up on those “to read” emails and setting up my out-of-office auto-responder.

I also planned to spend an hour or two on my last day of vacation, or on the plane, planning my first week back home. Wait… I planned to do a bit of work on vacation? I could go on to list the reasons why that was a bad idea or the reasons *cough*excuses*cough* why it didn’t actually happen, but I’ll spare us both that.

Instead, I’ll say, for all my planning for vacation, I didn’t plan my first week back very well.

In retrospect, I could have planned my first week back at work before I left – even if it was a brief written outline of rest, laundry and morning routine. Instead, my week was spent sleeping and thinking about what needed to be done and breaking one of my own rules about writing things down instead of leaving them to bounce around in my head.

The plus side of that week was being well rested and readjusted to my time zone. And I have a reminder of what happens when I don’t plan.

Saturday I started writing things down again and that kick started me into planning my second week home. I did two things that got me back in the swing of things:

  1. I recreated a morning routine. Some things were missing from the morning routine I had before I left, so I created a new one for myself. This was probably the best thing that I did for myself. Your morning routine can set your tone for the day.
  2. Created a list of the things I wanted to get done. It was a brief list of about 10 tasks (tasks, not projects). That gave me specific things to do each day, instead of spending 15 minutes trying to remember what the highest priority task was, and then getting overwhelmed and frustrated and doing something else entirely.

So, when you’re planning your next vacation away from your business, don’t forget to plan for your first week back. It will help your re-entry go much smoother!

PS. If you’re currently stuck try the two steps above.