Solve your post vacation blues

12 Things Highly Effective People Do After They've Been Away on Vacation 

Hard to get stuck into the grind

Hard to get stuck into the grind

I read this article 9 Things Highly Effective People Do After They've Been Away on Vacation via and could not help but feel the author Bill Murphy seemed to get some things right, yet others way off the mark and indeed missed some points. So, in the interest of sharing my thoughts here is my review and some additional considerations.

Even dogs can find it hard to return after a vacation.

Even dogs can find it hard to return after a vacation.

1. Come back on a Wednesday or Thursday.

The number 1 on Bill’s list is true and I agree fully. By breaking your holiday vacations into middle week chunks not only can you gain cheaper air flights, less motorway traffic to holiday destinations but you are already in the holiday mood a couple of days early and after you return. This has the hidden additional benefits of making you more productive in the remaining days to identify and close of priority challenges.

  • Coming back on a Tuesday or Friday are also alternatives.

·                If you seek help on Time management and productivity during this time then visit the JAMSO Pinterest board with over 195 references of tips and ideas to help.

2. Start the day before.

Bill tells a story of how a short 20 minute pre-planning of your start day can help. I see no reason for this at all. This can be done before you even go on vacation.

By clearing time already into your diary in advance for block periods to deal with Priority 1 challenges, Reporting duties, catch up duties and normal business duties it is easier for you and your colleagues to see the remaining gaps in your diary to plan other tasks.

Indeed by introducing a forward looking pre-plan as part of your last 10 minutes per day you can find this becomes a natural and effective way to work,

Is this needed? Do you normally take coffee?

Is this needed? Do you normally take coffee?

3. Get up early. And maybe meditate

I guess Bill felt the need to include the word meditation to help boost the articles SEO (search engine optimization ratings!). No, no, no. Get up at your normal time and do what you normally do. Only if you are changing your habits in other parts of your life is it important to introduce something different, otherwise just get on with the task of returning from your vacation that alone can be a challenge enough without adding new complications into your day.

4. Get your diet right.

Just like the post-Christmas blues, it is common to readjust your post vacation diet. Bill states to get your diet right, I would prefer to state to get your “lifestyle” right. This includes the balance of working hours, making time for lunch, socializing and gaining the correct exercise in your week.

Special Note: This step is not just applicable to post vacation times, you can apply it at any time you wish and do not be too hard on yourself if you make the odd error by buying an extra cheese cakes slice from time to time. Just train harder!

Fresh veg

Fresh veg

5. Take a few minutes to find out what happened.

Bill hits the spot with this tip; his example is fine enough by asking to put 60 seconds on a stop watch to catch up with each manager. I see this tip as solid enough however could also be done in a proactive manner before the holiday!

Make clear the responsibilities and accountability given, shared and accepted to each manager or staff member whilst you are away. Accept the consequences whilst you are away and then ask in advance for a short summery to be ready in your inbox by each manager. A simple “Green”, “Yellow”, “Red” status in the subject line is sufficient enough to ensure you know which managers to talk to first.

6. Delete a bunch of emails.

The examples shared in this section simply suggest deleting emails without an attachment. There is some good advice and indeed I have done this also in the past myself with surprisingly great results.

Mass removal of zero value mails

Mass removal of zero value mails

What this point does not address however is a more serious challenge for your business culture. If you can simply delete so many messages, then compound the time your staff take reading and dealing with so many unproductive points.

I suggest ARCHIVE the emails as a block and then have a common meeting review to agree an improved email and communications strategy for your business. The outcome is likely to be a considerable boost in productivity and staff morale.

7. If you must read emails, read them in last-to-first order.

This process order does make sense to capture solved challenges. However see my points in number 5 and 6 to resolve this in a more efficient manner.

8. Focus on big projects.

This is a good idea and one we already see often within Sales and Marketing departments at the start of a new year. They return and have a whole new perspective, incentives and challenges to face working on a 12 month performance horizon. This momentum is great after the summer vacations as it can stimulate enthusiasm and creative solutions to address performance for the closing Q3, Q4 results.

Focus on high value large projects

Focus on high value large projects

9. Actually, maybe don't stop working.

I hate to admit it but some of this suggestion does make sense. If you are working for a multi-national business with different production timings, peak periods and a variety of projects, it can simply make sense to be smart with your time whilst away and then be prepared to invest 20 minutes work time during your holiday if it will save you an hour of family time after the vacation is over. The emphasis here is SAVE you and not be replaced or lost to other work.

Missed opportunities

The article from Bill offers some very simple advice and with the additional points I have shared I offer you a smarter way to implement some of the concepts. The changes can make a profound impact on your own working life but also to the future of communication design and principles for your business culture.

The article missed a couple of additional tips that I share with you now as a free holiday bonus.

See the day in a new way

See the day in a new way

10. Use motivational messages

Daily motivational quotes or videos are a great way to help find some intrinsic motivation when comparing the view from your desk compared to the view from the beach.

These messages help you tap into your core values, principles and longer term goals.

You will then see the vacation as part of the whole journey of experience and not a separate experience to be longed for during future meetings or projects.

·        Here is our YouTube playlist of motivational videos

·        Here is the JAMSO Instagram channel with daily posted quotes

·        Here is the JAMSO Pinterest board with over 370 quotes

11. Quick wins

Nothing beats the feeling of concluding some tasks and drawing a finished line through items off a to-do list. Use some pre planned time to finish and conclude a small number of quick win tasks to gather your momentum and enthusiasm back at work. It will also show to others around you that you are back and focused.

Quick wins

Quick wins

12. Have a post vacation meet up

Creating a pre-planned meet up to socialize with colleagues and friends to share vacation stories and catch up on events whilst you have been away.

This takes away the burden of repeating your summary of an 8 hour traffic delay just north of Berlin whilst on holiday with each person you meet at work.

It allows you time to learn from others about their experiences and create new ideas for your next holiday, with some added tips of how your friends and colleagues have also handled their post vacation blues.

What tips do you have? Share them in the comments below.

 Written by James Doyle, founder of JAMSO. We have over 200 free articles, tools and resources for your success.

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