When it comes time for us to take vacations — from work, from school, from whatever it may be that is tethering us to our responsibilities as productive humans, vacation gives us a chance to lift weight off our shoulders. Planning for and preparing to go off the grid can be a little extra work, but once the vacation is upon you, and you’ve had a bit of time to let go of those weekly meetings, to unglue your fingers from the keyboard, and to turn your brain working on overdrive off to recharge your batteries, the beauty that is a vacation sets in. You enjoy your food, you drown yourself in sunshine, you breathe in the fresh air and hopefully you don’t get a gross, flakey sunburn.
But what about when the vacation is over? When reality’s shrill voice comes banging on your door so loudly you have no choice but to sit your butt back down in that office chair and earn that cash money so as to be deemed a productive human again. Re-entering real life is the hardest part of any vacation, so here are 5 steps to help you un-vacationize yourself and transition back into productivity (while savoring the benefits you gained by unplugging.)
1. Unpack your bags immediately upon arriving home
There’s nothing worse than a suitcase that sits unpacked in your room a week after you get back taunting and haunting you with memories of splashing around in the ocean with your best friends. Be productive and unpack that sucker right away.
2. Look through your pictures immediately upon finishing unpacking
Congratulations! You took your first step in re-entering the world by unpacking your bag. Now reward yourself by sorting through the couple hundred photos of beach-y sunsets that you took while you were gone. This is a healing process after all and it’s important to “drink the hair of the dog” as they say.
3. Try to arrive at work a little bit early upon your return
I know, the last thing you want to do after a vacation is go into the office EARLY. But trust me, it will help with the deep and dark email hole you will find yourself in if your Microsoft Outlook ever decides to open and load. Getting a jump-start on sorting away the emails you don’t need to worry about and organizing your immediate action items will help you be on top of your freshly tanned game when your boss gets in a 9:00am and starts emailing in a frenzy.
4. Bump the playlists throughout your work week
After a week of bumpin’ those fresh to death tunes without a worry in the world, why not continue the trend while sending off emails? Energize yourself with the beat of your new favorite tunes. Nobody has to know that you were movin’ and groovin’ your backside while sending out this week’s meeting agenda.
5. Lunch breaks, lunch breaks, lunch breaks
It’s easy to get caught up in unburying yourself (especially if you follow my advice in #4), but don’t forget to take your lunch breaks! Get outside, and walk around. Productivity feeds off of food and fresh air. Even though you’re not eating on the beach anymore your still semi-vacationizing brain will thank you for the break.