Everything about a vacation is wonderful (even the traveling if you can afford a non-stop flight) expect for that week when you get back home and realize that you need to catch up with 1-2 weeks of works within 5 days. And then, you start thinking: Why even go on vacation? And everyone knows the answer to that: It’s because you deserve one! Below are 5 easy steps to having a painless return from vacation.
Breathe & Make a Plan. You’re intuitive habit when getting back from vacation is to dive straight back into work. But, before you start burning the midnight oil, take an hour aside (you can even do this on the plane ride home) to make a plan for your week. Plan for 2-3 hours of email follow-up, 1-2 hours of calls and 1hr staff meeting. This is the bare minimum. By making time for the activities that normally take the largest chunk of your day, you will not have to scramble to fit them in later. Once you have scheduled your follow-up times start to plan the rest of your week around this.
Email Strategy. If you’ve been checking emails on and off during your vacation then you have already been able to sort what is urgent and what can wait until next week. If you haven’t checked your emails at all then this should be your first step. Categorize your emails and pick the most urgent correspondences to get back to immediately. You can even start folders so you can classify emails as ‘urgent’ or ‘flag for follow-up’ so you know exactly what category they fall in when you are ready to answer. As new emails come in during the week simply categorize them and get to them later. This will help you not feel overwhelmed.
Test your Mini-me. Leaving on vacation is a great way to test if your staff is solid and can operate without you. A good manager knows how to keep their business running whether they are present or not. Before you leave on vacation make sure you have a serious talk with your staff and make your expectations clear as well as concisely give objectives to each member. Have one person be your go-to person for all communications. They should be responsible for writing you end of day reports for every day you are on vacation. Having a solid team that is able to function while you are not onsite means being able to expand your business later –so this is a step in the right direction!
Sales. Being back from vacation also means having several credit card bills to pay off. So, the sooner you start getting your sales back on track the better. If you have sales associates then make sure to meet within them within your first week back. If you manage sales yourself then start by touching base with any warm leads you might have left hanging before leaving. If you don’t have any warm leads in your pipeline then sign-up for a networking opportunity or consider the pros of launching a summer promotion. Trick to all of this is the planning! So make sure you plan to do this when you are doing your intake (refer to step 1.)
Meeting can Wait. If you’ve scheduled dozens of meeting upon your return you might want to hold off for a bit. Make the necessary time for all the follow-up and sales work you need to get done and then, go back to your calendar to schedule in meetings. Nothing wastes more time then a meeting that happens when you scrambling or not ready so consider rescheduling for when you will 100% focused and ready.