4 Ways to Get Back to Work after a Vacation

by Rachel Hartman on May 1, 2012
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You’ve just returned from a weeklong vacation, with the tan to prove it. Now it’s time to get back to business. Don’t let a pile of to-do’s overwhelm you. Stop for a moment and pat yourself on the back: The fact that you took a break will likely benefit both you and your company.

“What you lose when you’re working so hard — or overworking — is the ability to be creative,” says Paula Conway, president of Astonish Media Group. As an entrepreneur, that creativity is one of the driving forces of your business. By taking a vacation, you’ve freed your mind from those 15-hour days and made room for fresh ideas.

Here’s how to maximize all the energy you gathered during your time off.

  1. Put new ideas into action. If you thought about ways to grow the business while on vacation, put those ideas into motion now, Conway advises. Hold a strategy meeting with employees to talk about a new sales campaign, or research the materials you’ll need for a new product. If you didn’t think about work during your trip, you may find that ideas flow more easily once you’re back at work. Write down your thoughts — and schedule a time in the near future to act on them.
  2. Help employees take a break. Chances are, your vacation boosted your energy and productivity levels — a trend that could continue for weeks and even months. If you have employees, evaluate their vacation days. Have they taken a break yet this year? Are they planning to take time off in the near future? Making sure that your employees get vacation time lets you know you value them, Conway notes. What’s in it for you: staff that returns to work recharged and ready to go full-speed ahead again.
  3. Focus on housekeeping. Before you left for vacation, your to-do list probably had a few items on it that didn’t get crossed off. Figure out how you’ll handle those lingering jobs now. You don’t have to plunge in immediately, but consider scheduling a day to run errands, clean out a back closet, sort through a filing cabinet, or reorganize your office.
  4. Get back into the groove gradually. Rather than walking into the office and trying to take care of everything at once, ease back into your workload, Conway suggests. Set aside time to read and respond to email, or grab a stack of proposals and go somewhere that you can focus solely on them. Little by little, you — and your business — will get back into the swing of things.

Rachel Hartman is a writer who frequently covers topics related to small businesses. Her work has appeared in The Costco Connection, Wells Fargo Conversations, Pizza Today, Bankrate.com, InsuranceQuotes.com, CreditCardGuide.com, and many other outlets.

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