You've been away. You've switched off (we hope). But how do you maintain the holiday glow once you're back? Ask. Don't try to get back up to speed on your own. Remember that holiday buddy? Now's the time to put her to use. Shout her a coffee in return for a download of what's been going on while you were off. Hearing her summary will get you up to speed more quickly and efficiently than trying to trawl through your heaving inbox alone. It also ensures you don't miss out on anything where being away has meant you may not have been kept in the email loop.
Think. Your flat white is imbibed and you're bang up to speed. Now before launching headfirst into your inbox, take a step back. Work out how much time you can devote to clearing your email backlog and catching up on what you've missed, without slowing your forward momentum. Then allot that specific amount of time each day over the next week or month to clearing the build up. Approaching it in this methodical and thought out way, reduces stress as well as making you more efficient and less likely to miss something key.
Refocus. Holidays are often a time for deeper thought than we allow ourselves the rest of the year. The slower pace and different setting give us space to reassess and reevaluate our lives and work. Are you working in the most efficient way? Are you focussing on the right tasks and projects? Are you even in the right role? Giving yourself permission to mull over these questions while you're away, should mean you return energised and focussed. Back at your desk, formulate those beachside musings into a real strategic plan to use the break as a catalyst for taking your career to the next level, rather than a source of guilt or stress.
Breathe. Speaking of guilt, it can be just as destructive a feeling as stress on return. Feeling guilty about being away from the office makes the best laid plans difficult to stick to and overcompensating when you get back is a sure fire away to quickly lose the benefits of your break. The solution? Reframe how you think about holidays. Research repeatedly tells us we need time off to be efficient and you won't be doing yourself or your colleagues any favours when you're burnt out. Look at your vacation as a vital part of your job. Not only do you deserve it, but it's integral to your efficiency and drive over the months ahead.
You should now be refreshed, refocused, reenergised and ready to kick some career butt. But still feel like you've left your work mojo behind on the beach? Stay tuned next week for how to dust off the sand and head forward into Autumn more positive than before.