What follows a fantastic vacation? For many, it’s the post-vacation blues. What you might not realize is that small, correctable mistakes may be the cause of your slump. Let’s learn the eight most avoidable of these errors so you can return from your next vacation on a high note.
1 Staying Gone Too Long
How can you guarantee yourself a horrifically stressful Monday? Arrive home from vacation late Sunday night! Resist the urge to spend all of your vacation days out of town. Instead, include a recuperation day or two at the end of your trip. Running a few errands is okay, but try to spend most of the evening relaxing at home. Unpack, check your email, and get a good night’s rest. Come Monday morning, you’ll be ready to face the day.
If you’re apologizing for going on vacation or not being completely caught up, stop it! Every hard worker deserves a break from time to time. And it’s only natural to need a few days to get back on track. On the other hand, feel free let people know that you are on vacation or have just returned by setting up an email autoreply.
3 Broadcasting Your Return
Of course, let your boss know you’re back. Beyond that, be selective. Flying under the radar will give you a chance to catch up on what you missed without being bombarded with questions and more work. Even going incognito for a half day will buy you some much needed quiet time.
4 Returning Emails in Chronological Order
You open your inbox and see about a hundred messages waiting for your attention. The only solution is to set aside a couple of hours and plug through them in order, right? Wrong! The email you received inviting you to connect with a vague acquaintance on LinkedIn is not as significant as the one from your boss about the project due at the end of the week. Here’s a strategy: Read the most recent emails first, but skip (or delete) anything that you can see from the subject line is of low priority. This method saves time because senders may have resolved many questions and issues in your absence. If not, they probably sent a follow-up email that will appear in your recent messages.
5 Failing to Delegate
“If you want something done right, do it yourself.” This adage is old and incorrect. Pick the most qualified members of your company and delegate tasks that are relevant to the ones they already do. If you are in management, inform your team who the go-to people are for certain projects, questions, and problems. Some employees fear delegating because they don’t want to seem replaceable. However, if you do it right, delegation will show your value. Organizational Behavior professor Jeffrey Pfeffer explains: “Your most important task as a leader is to teach people how to think. . .so that the world doesn’t go to hell if you take a day off,” Prepare everyone before your vacation, and your wisdom and managerial qualities will shine.”
6 Working Your Fingers to the Bone
Remember what they say about “all work and no play”? Don’t turn yourself into a dull boy! Just because your trip is over doesn’t mean your life is. According to medical professionals, negative emotions are normal after a happy event. Why not make some fun plans for your first weekend home? Even something small, such as visiting a new cafe with a couple of friends or renting a flick you want to see, will give you something to look forward to while you dig yourself out of a pile of paperwork.
7 Bringing in Souvenirs
How many clients and colleagues pass through your working space in a typical day? Unless you want to take the time to explain the significance of your handmade Central American rain stick to each passerby, you ought to leave it at home. Besides, seeing photos of the delicious food you sampled and the adventures you had might deepen your post-vacation nostalgia. If you can’t resist showing off some memento of your trip, try sharing something that everyone can enjoy. Leaving a box of exotic candy in the breakroom would be just the trick.
8 Saying Yes to Unessential Work
Optional or voluntary duties are a great way to support your company—when you have spare time. Saying no, although it may feel uncomfortable, ensures you will have time to complete everything on your to-do list. Be firm, but kind: “I’d love to help you, but my schedule won’t allow it.”
Which of these mistakes have you made? You can’t change the past, but you can apply these tips to your next holiday. The next time you book a trip, refer to this article so you can plan a seamless return.