Most people I know love vacation time and they see vacations as an opportunity to rejuvenate, reflect, and be refreshed. Most of us probably have managed the post-vacation home and work backlog at one time or another, which can be beautifully buoyed by patience with yourself and others, and a light-hearted approach. So what are some ways to effectively re-enter the daily routine after summer vacation ends and a backlog of action items await you? Following are some ideas that have worked well for me or those in my professional and personal networks. Perhaps one, some, or all of these ideas will resonate with you, your family, and your co-workers this summer:
- Pace yourself. Prioritize the most pressing needs and act accordingly.
- Lists can be your friends. As you’re assessing priorities, you may wish to jot down a list of who you need to call, e-mail, respond to, etc. as well as what meetings you need to prepare for, events you need to plan for, etc. That said, be sure to follow your version of organizational bliss. If lists don’t tend to help you, no need to create one after your upcoming vacation.
- Consider including in your top priorities those one or two activities that you’ll be especially grateful to finish. Accomplishing these hefty tasks early on may be just the encouragement that you need to accomplish other tasks on the radar.
- Block out time to respond to voicemails and e-mails received in your absence. Respond in order of priority.
- Keep tabs on new tasks. We all know that responsibilities in the workplace and at home do not come to a halt when we go on vacation. Be sure to block out some time during your first week back from vacation to ensure that you keep tabs on current activities. No need to fall further behind while playing catch-up!
- Be kind to yourself and others. Sure, it may be appropriate to put in some extra time to ensure productivity and eliminate the post-vacation backlog at home or in the office. Just be sure to be kind to yourself, and use your time as effectively as possible.
Have some other practical tips for managing that post-vacation workplace backlog? Share your ideas with us, and they could appear in a future blog post!
* Photo by A Syed