Your vacation is over, get back-to-work.

Illustration of congenial monster carrying briefcase going "back to work"

You always experience feelings when you return to work after being away for a week. Whether anxiety, dread, excitement, clarity, fatigue, surprise, etc. you are feeling something. Typically I feel anxious and the feeling of overwhelm can be gigantic–but not this time. I feel different than usual in a way that I have yet to fully understand. It’s not anxiety, it’s a calm. What I do know is that something is different and I need to get back to work.

You always have a good vacation when you actually vacate. This means not working over vacation. No checking email. No replying to text messages and voicemails. I took this to heart for the first time in a long while.

I spent a week away from routine, a week away from ruts.

  • I stayed offline
  • I ignored my cellphone (except non-work)
  • I slept
  • I ate and drank well
  • I hiked
  • I went sledding
  • I built a snowman
  • I spent time with my wife
  • I went skiing with my kids
  • I had a snowball fight with them too
  • I cooked
  • I read and listened to audio books
  • I watched the beginning of “March Madness”

Now I’ll be honest. I did have my moments during the week where I was in a psychological slump, but I would attribute that to my brain unwinding from the routine. On the day of my actual return back home I drove the whole way. Gave me time to listen to an audiobook called Rework that caused me to reconsider many things that I have been brooding over for quite some time.

  • I can’t make every web idea I have come to life
  • It’s OK to stop working at 5 o’clock
  • People will not die if I don’t get a task done right away
  • Things can wait
  • Everything is not very important
  • Worrying solves nothing
  • There is enough time to get it done, but I need to prioritize
  • Turn off distractions (yes that means you Twitter, Facebook, iPhone)
  • Rest and time away from working is essential
  • Be grateful

I’m happy to say that I am more relaxed returning  to work this week, and for that fact alone I am extremely grateful. Needless to say I am changing a few things.

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  • Great post. I find myself in caveman mode far too often.

  • Adam, I find myself in caveman mode very often. The rub is that many times I don't know that I am in caveman mode. Live and learn I guess.

  • Good advice – I just spent 2 weeks of 12+ hour days just get my plate entirely cleared for a 2 week vacation that starts today. Inbox empty, work delegated, everyone knows I won't be reachable. Bliss!

  • John, that truly is bliss. Congrats on achieving it.

  • John, that truly is bliss. Congrats on achieving it.