I’ve recently returned from a trip to London, England (not to be confused with London, Ontario like many people in my office thought I meant when I was excitedly talking about it). My trip was absolutely incredible – I will be sharing all the details over the next couple of weeks! Today we are going to talk about the one downside of the trip, which is my return to reality and that crazy phenomenons of jet lag and vacation withdrawal.
Jetlag – noun: Extreme tiredness and other physical effects felt by a person after a long flight across several time zones.
Jet lag and vacation withdrawal took quite a toll on me last week, so much that I actually questioned what was wrong with me. Turns out it was nothing to worry about because after a few not-so-hot sleeps, I am finally falling back into place with my routine and daily life. The scariest part of my Negative Nancy week was that I felt like my frustration and lack of motivation was coming out at work, which is something I never want to do. So, today I want to share some things to remember when heading back to work from a vacation.
Clean up your space
I always find that the best way to start the day off right is by making sure you are in a nice clean space. Perhaps that is my university-procrastinating self, using any excuse to hold off from getting things done, but a clear space creates a clear mind and that is a good way to start any day.
Take things slow
You may feel like you want to rush in and get on top of everything you have missed or what you need to do. It is important to remember that the world functioned just fine while you were away and it is unlikely that anything is going to burn down if you take the time to go through your emails, undo your out of office responses and grab a coffee. I’m not saying slack forever but slowly bringing yourself back into the routine is a good place to start.
Make a prioritized list of tasks
Once you feel settled, make a list of all the things that you need to do. Maybe this involves talking to your coworker or boss about what you’ve missed, what the priorities are and what is going on. Having a list and a handle on necessary tasks is a good way to get yourself back in the game.
Don’t panic about lack of motivation
For me, returning to work was really difficult. I felt like I had lost all of the motivation momentum that I had before I left on vacation. Not wanting to complete every task on my list is very unlike me and causes me great concern. After a couple of days, I got right back on the saddle and was checking things off my to-dos like any other day! Don’t worry if you aren’t ready right away – people understand coming back from vacation and the adjustment that needs to be made. Push through the first few days and you will fall back in your routine in no time.
Good luck fighting off that lag (and on planning your next adventure!)