Imagine yourself relaxing on a sunny beach with your family by your side and a glass of chilled virgin mojito in your hand.
But that is the last day of your vacation.
You have to get up early the next day and get back to work.
Just the thought of going back to your routine after a long relaxing vacation demotivates you.
However, there are some ways in which you can get back to your productive self after that relaxing vacation.
You should keep in mind that; you are not going to achieve 100% productivity on the first day you get back to from your vacation.
It is going to be a GRADUAL process.
But, with the tips listed in this article, you will be able to get back to your schedule as soon as possible.
It should not take more than 2-3 days to achieve your maximum productivity levels depending on how long your vacation has been.
The longer your vacation, the longer you will take.
However, not to worry, if you follow all the steps I have given below, you will be able to achieve your productivity peak quickly and also sustain the same.
Table of Contents
- End your Vacay a Day Before
- Clear your Inbox
- Don’t Revisit your Vacation Pictures in the First work week
- Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
Before I get into the steps, I would want to address the million-dollar question:
“Why is it so difficult for us to get back to our routine after our vacation?”
This is mainly because we consider our work/studies as a burden and/or compulsion.
That is why, I always recommend to choose to do what you love doing.
I know that sometimes in the case of your studies and work as well you would have some subjects or you would have some assignments that you don’t really enjoy.
But that is just a part and parcel of your overall course or your overall job profile.
If you don’t enjoy the very basics of what you are doing, you need to take action.
I’m not saying it is going to be easy, but it is definitely going to help in your personal and professional development in the long run.
“How do you know the career you have chosen is right for you?”
Always Trust your instincts.
What is your gut telling you? Are you REALLY satisfied with what you are choosing or have chosen?
If the answer is a confident “YES”, you are on the right track.
But, if you are unable to find a definite answer, something is amiss.
Another way is if you always find yourself complaining about your work or you are almost always demotivated to work, etc., you are definitely not enjoying what you are doing.
And you need to TAKE ACTION.
I will be posting a step-by-step guide on how to make a career change without comprising your earning capabilities and also without causing any financial distress.
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So, coming back to switching from your vacay mode back to your work mode.
If it was only a switch, things would have been a lot easier.
However, humans are the most intelligent animals on the planet and with that also comes all the negative emotions like demotivation, laziness, sadness, etc.
That is why we need to train our minds to avoid feeling these negative feelings. And this will in turn help in achieving our goals and becoming the best version of ourselves.
So, without further ado, let’s get started.
#01 End your Vacay a Day Before
Like I mentioned earlier, your mind and body need a little bit of time to adjust to the change in routine.
That is why, you should plan your vacation in such a way that you have the last vacation day free, when you can make these adjustments.
For example, if you have 2-week vacation that is ending on Sunday, plan all your vacation days up to Saturday and utilize Sunday to slowly get back into your work mode.
“How Exactly should you spend your last vacation day?”
The important thing to keep in mind is that don’t treat this day as a vacation day.
By this I mean;
- Get up at your usual time (the time you wake up at during workdays),
- Follow your exercise and meditation routine,
- Have your meals on time,
- Don’t binge-watch any TV series, and
- Go to Sleep on time.
You don’t necessarily have to start working or studying on this day.
The idea is to gradually get your mind to come out of the vacation zone and get used to your previous routine.
Two things are of utmost importance on this day – Get up on time and Sleep on time.
This is very essential because if you go to sleep very late, you will not be able to get up early for work the next day.
Thus, you will not be productive on that day.
And the more you delay getting into your routine, the more time you will take to achieve the level of productivity that you had before going on vacation.
“Plan the next week – keeping things light”
On the last vacation day, you should also plan out the whole upcoming work week.
But remember to keep things light in the next week. Don’t plan out too many things.
If you fill up your schedule, you might be too overwhelmed and this would demotivate you. Instead, plan for a few things and try to achieve them.
When you see that you are able to complete your plans as the week progresses, you will become more and more excited to complete a lot of other things as well.
And this will give a boost to your efficiency and you would have officially come out of your vacation mode.
#02 Clear your Inbox
This step is for all the working professionals.
Being an audit professional myself, I have noticed that even if I take a leave for one day, my Inbox becomes full.
So, if you are going on a week long vacation, you are going to have to go through a lot of emails to clear your inbox.
And this will most certainly not happen in one day. But it should be your top priority as soon as you get back from your vacation.
“A clear desk is a clear mind.”
With the advancement of technology, we no longer write and send letters. So, your inbox itself is like your virtual mailbox.
When your mail is full, your desk becomes cluttered, which also creates confusion and clutter in your mind and you will not be able to think clearly.
That is why the very first thing after getting back should be to read and reply to all your emails.
By when should your Inbox be cleared?
Your inbox should be cleared in 2-3 days or maximum by the first week.
If you delay it any further, you will be working at less than your normal efficiency level even in the next week.
So, start with the oldest mail first and keep going ahead.
Another tip here would be, if you want your inbox to be more organized, make various categories for the different mails and put them into the archives folder.
In this way, as you clear your emails, you can put it into the relevant category in the archives.
By doing this, you will have a clear inbox with 0 unread emails at the end of the day. This is great not only for your efficiency levels but you will also perform better at your workplace.
Almost all communication in companies is done via email and having an organized inbox will help you keep track of things, have a communication trail, schedule meetings efficiently, etc.
How should you clear your Inbox?
I am not sure about the method that you apply, but I have devised a very simple and efficient method to clear my inbox that is explained below.
Let’s take the example of any particular mail that you need to read and clear.
Firstly, you need to check if it is addressed to you.
This brings in 2 possibilities:
If the email is addressed to you, then you can begin reading the email.
After understanding the content, if you can reply to it immediately, go ahead and do so.
However, in case you need to work on something as per the email before replying, then you should flag the email or categorize it into the “Unread/InProgress” folder.
And then after completing the relevant work, you can reply to it.
If the mail is only marked to you, then you need to decide whether you need to take some action on it or it is only for information purposes.
Accordingly, categorize that email.
I always ensure that at the end of the day my Main Inbox is clear.
There could be a few mails in the “InProgress” folder that has to be worked on, but all the emails received should have been read and the next forward step should have been decided.
This has personally helped me a lot in my professional life, and I would strongly advise that, if you haven’t already organized your inbox, you should do it as soon as possible.
#03 Don’t Revisit your Vacation Pictures in the First work week
This might sound a little strange, but trust me it works.
When you go back and see all the pictures, your sub-conscious is remembering all the fun and enjoyable moments.
And before you realize it, you will be lost in your thoughts about the awesome vacation you had. This is most definitely going to affect your productivity.
Not only would you be wasting time thinking about your vacation, but you would also lose out on the flow of work you had before you started revisiting those precious moments.
I am not saying that you should never look at your vacation pictures again. Just don’t revisit them in the first week after your vacation.
Why would you become less productive if you recall your vacation days?
You have just returned from your vacation and all those memories are still fresh.
Thinking about it over and over again is going to deviate your mind from what you are currently working on.
Therefore, to get back into your regular routine completely, you need to temporarily forget about your vacation and totally focus on your work.
This will get you back on track.
Once you feel that you are out of the vacation lag and back to your normal efficiency, you can go back and revisit those cherished memories.
This would apply to all those who have travelled during their vacations.
If you are one of them, be sure to finish unpacking all your suitcases, after you return.
I have come across a lot of people, who spent the first work week unpacking.
Unpacking is going to take up a lot of your precious work time.
And therefore, your vacation would unofficially get extended and you would take even more time to go back to your routine if you unpack after getting back to work.
So, if you have planned a long trip, try to return at least a day before so that you can finish unpacking.
Another tip here would be, always travel light. Don’t carry unnecessary accessories and clothes which you are not going to use.
This would save a lot of time packing as well as unpacking.
Moreover, if you travel light, you can also bring back souvenirs from the place you visited without having to pay extra for your luggage.
Let me know in the comments section below if you would like to read an article on “Different ways you can plan your vacations efficiently”.
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#05 Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself
It is one thing to be a little sad and another to feel sorry for yourself.
If you are upset that your vacation is getting over, it is normal.
But if you are upset about the whole situation you have to get back into, then there is a problem.
This usually happens when you are not enjoying the work you do, or there are some strained relationships in the office, or you feel that you are not getting the credit you deserve, etc.
No matter what the reason is, you need to analyze the problem and find a solution to it.
Don’t wallow in self-pity, Identify the problem you are facing and find a solution.
For example, if you are having some problems with the members of your team; have a heart to heart discussion and try to resolve the issue.
If that does not work, try taking your boss’ help in resolving the same.
What I want to convey is, feeling sorry for yourself is a waste of time. Nothing is going to magically happen.
If you are having an issue resolve it.
All in all, I would like to conclude by saying that,
“If you do What you Love, you will not need a Vacation”
So, follow your dreams without looking back and learn from your mistakes.
That is, it from me.
I hope you have enjoyed that vacation and you are ready to get back into your work mode.
Once you come back from your trip, you should mentally start getting into your regular routine.
When you do this, your actions would also automatically move towards your work and hence you would be able to reach your regular productivity level quickly.
If you are struggling to get up in the morning after that relaxing vacation, consider reading the following articles on:
We’ll meet again next time with another insightful article.
Until then, Happy Reading ?