Where Did My Drink With The Pink Umbrella Go? (Returning To Work After A Vacation)

It is one of work-life’s simple truths: vacations are great, returning to the workplace, is not.

Just when you got used to sleeping late, room service and planning your day in the sun, it all evaporated. In the blink of an eye you went from SPF’s to SOBs, from riding waves to making waves, from Mohitos to Moe, Larry & Curly and from sex on the beach to getting royally screwed.

Yes, that post-vacation return-to-work can hit your head with the pounding force normally associated with surfacing too fast from a deep-bottom scuba exploration.

Well, now it’s time to get back to work and begin the countdown until your next vacation.

Here is how you can ease the transition:

  • Before you leave on your vacation: clean your desk, delegate assignments, set up your e-mail “away” message and leave yourself a list of what you need to do when you return
  • While on vacation, spend one (morning hour) every three days to glance at your Blackberry and scan your e-mails. It will make you feel better, reduce your anxiety and ease your return. Do not exceed this time allotment or your spouse/companion will make sure that you will be “sleeping with the fishes” for the duration of your vacation
  • Try to really focus on doing as many non-work related things while away. Clear your head, go on a boat, watch bad TV and goof around with your kids
  • If possible, try to schedule your return home so that you have one more day before you need to go back to work. It’s a great way to ease into “reality.” Besides, landing at the airport 7 hours before you need to go to work will stress you (and your family) out
  • On your actual return-to-work day, get up a little earlier, savor a slow cup of coffee and exhale slowly
  • Bring back vacation-related dood-dads to your colleagues as a thank you for covering some of your work obligations while you were away
  • Keep that pink umbrella in your desk. You can gaze at it and daydream whenever you need to

  • Today’s Tip: Vacation Get-Aways are for getting away. Make the most of your down time and relax. However, easing your transition back requires foresight, planning and a pink umbrella.

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