What’s the best way to come back from vacation?

What’s the best way to come back from vacation?

In this video, I talk about getting back into the swing of things after a vacation. Should you jump right into answering emails the night you return home? Or is there a better, more strategic process you can follow? Watch this video for advice on how to make your re-entry after vacation a springboard to more strategic, rewarding productivity.

Transcript Highlights

Lauren:
How was vacation?

Peter:
It was great.

Lauren:
How was getting back?

Peter:
It was great. It was good. It was surprisingly good. Better than it often is.

Lauren:
Why?

Peter:
Because I had a plan.

Lauren:
Yeah, okay. We’ll share.

Peter:
Because I had a plan.

Lauren:
Because I’m on vacation next week.

Peter:
Oh, that’s right. Well, it’s hard to let go. It’s hard to let go of the gear and the fun and the relaxation. Then you get back to the grind and get back to work. I sat down before coming back and thinking what will take the best of the vacation and draw it into my work and draw it into everything that I do. I have this three step plan that I figured out. One is I love who I am on a vacation. I’m relaxed . . . . Vacation Peter’s my favorite Peter. I’m nice to people, I’m thoughtful, I’m connected, I take time.

The first thing that I suggest people do and I try to do, is before starting work, remember that best self. Who are you on vacation that you love? What is the parts of you that you love? Then even write them down. And to think of who are you at your best and remember that. Because there’s no reason why we can’t be that person when we’re working.

That’s sort of a snapshot of who it is that we really want to be. The second thing that I do before getting to work is I bring myself back to w hat it is that I hope to accomplish for the year. I have in my 18 minutes process I have the top five areas that I want to focus on for the year. So I bring myself to that.

For me, last night as I was getting myself ready, I was starting to think about, what is it that I most care about. These days, what I most care about is building a community of leaders. That’s what I’m most interested in. How do we build this community of leaders? People who show emotional courage.

I remind myself that when the morning starts, I want to really start to focus on those things that are most important to me. I bring myself back to my top areas of focus.

The night before vacation, I don’t go through all of my emails in order to check everything Saturday because I’m still on vacation. I don’t really want to do that. What I do is I avoid planning lots of meetings for the first morning of vacation.

Lauren:
Yeah, that makes sense.

Peter:
Right. That way, I could actually go through all the emails. And when I sit down, and this is the most important part, I remembered who I am at my best and I remembered what it is that’s most important to me. Right? Creating a community of leaders. Now I sit down and I look at everything I have to do and everything people want me to do and I filter it through those two things. How can I be who I want to be and do what it is that I want to do to be most effective.

I start looking through and I start saying, that issue that people want me to resolve, that’s got nothing to do with building a community of leaders and really I can delegate that. This maybe doesn’t so much have to do with building a community of leaders, but I kind of have to work on that. This is exactly what I need to do. I need to write this piece around building a community of leaders.

Suddenly, I’m completely focused on the things that are most important to me and I’m doing it in a much more relaxed way than I would have if I were fighting all these fires and trying to address everybody’s issues and every way that they need me to address them.

Lauren:
Did you deal with work on vacation?

Peter:
I actually did a really good job of… it wasn’t a long vacation, but I did not deal with work while I was vacation.

Lauren:
Okay. And you got back last night?

Peter:
And I got back last night.

Lauren:
All right. So this is your first couple of hours back at work.

Peter:
Yeah . . . I spent this morning doing some of that stuff and kind of filtering through.

Lauren:
With the new mentality.

Peter:
With the new mentality. I’m feeling pretty relaxed and pretty good, enough so that I could snow-shoe into here and mosey on into the studio and have this conversation with you.

Lauren:
Well thanks for snow shoeing in and it was great to see you. As always, everyone can check out Peter’s website, PeterBregman.com.


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2 comments

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  • Sue Pridgen March 18, 2014 Reply

    From: Sue Pridgen mamaproctor913@yahoo.com
    Subject: How to focus on work after vacation.

    Message Body:
    Hi Peter,
    I didn’t know you were on vacation. I hope you had a good one. Sounds like it from the interview.
    How you ease back into work after vacation, every point you made I agree with. Except one. You are at a level that (as far as I know) you have those options. I’m not sure. I have never heard you mention having a boss that dictates or delegates what you have to do on his schedule.
    My point is that after my vacations, I had to work twice as hard to catch up I was more exhausted after than before. Sometimes I used to wonder if it was worth it. I not only had to catch up my regular work but I had to do the regular work that was also needed at the same time. I didn’t have the luxury for lack of a better term. To decide what would come first when my boss would page me and put me doing something that had nothing to do with catching up my usual work. I don’t mean to sound like I am whining. It’s just the difference between someone of your stature compared to someone of mine. Coming back from vacation can be stressful for some just depending on the job, the person and the boss.
    The only way I could eliminate that kind of stress was to take a Friday off and a Monday. A long weekend mini- vacation. That way my work wouldn’t get too far behind and yet I would get a small break.

    Thanks for the article.
    S.

  • Sharmila Ramachandran April 22, 2014 Reply

    I agree with the 3 top things that you have mentioned. However, I do agree with Sue that we have to work really hard trying to catch up with the emails when we get back from a vacation…

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