Come back from your vacation more motivated and productive than ever before.
Let’s face it; if you’re like me, coming back to work after an extended break can be a real slog. Whether you were sipping mojitos in Cabo or enjoying some much-needed downtime at home, you might think a return to work means a return to stress.
According to Entrepreneur, however, taking breaks of any duration can have a positive impact on your productivity, so long as you return to work with a can-do attitude. With that in mind, here are three tips to make the most of your vacation, and to prepare for your imminent return — so that your first days back don’t make you pine for the beach.
1. Take a Real Vacation
While it might be tempting to check your work email while you’re away, squash that impulse! If you need a vacation, really take one. As U.S. News points out, there are plenty of reasons to avoid taking a working vacation: you need (and deserve!) a break; it’s important to strike a work-life balance; and if all you’re going to do is plug in at the beach, shouldn’t you just have stayed at the office?
Remember, your brain can’t function well if you don’t give it rest. As Fast Company asserts in an article on the importance of taking breaks, it’s only when you stop concentrating that your mind can solve its stickiest problems. In fact, it is precisely this kind of relaxed thinking that “can allow the brain to hook up and return valuable insights,” according to engineering professor Barbara Oakley.
So what’s the bottom line? If you want to come back from your vacation ready to work, do yourself a favor and step away from your laptop.
2. Prep for Your Homecoming Before You Leave
While prepping for your vacation, do yourself a huge favor and prep for your homecoming, too. After all, if your return is too hectic (think: plane delays and traffic jams), the stress associated with it could undo all the restorative relaxing you’ve done.
One good strategy is to come home a day early. According to Forbes, returning on a Saturday instead of a Sunday gives you time to catch up on everything and come back to work organized and ready to tackle the week ahead.
Before you leave, be sure to leave a clear and concise out-of-office message, encouraging coworkers not to reach out (and leave work in your inbox) until after you come back from vacation. Once you’re back, don’t be afraid to keep the out-of-office message on for one extra day. While coworkers in your immediate proximity will know you’re back, leaving the message on might prevent work from piling up before you’re ready to get to it.
3. Treat Yo’ Self
Even if you love your job, it’s normal to get the post-vacation blues. To avoid this, have a reward waiting for you at the end of your first day back. Whether the treat is a night out on the town or staying in with your favorite take-out and re-runs, taking a moment to treat yo’ self and re-invest in “you” time will maintain the positive energy you picked up on vacation.
What should your takeaway be? For starters, it is possible to have it all. With proper planning, vacation time can truly make for a more productive working life. Once you’re back for good, though, don’t stop switching things up. There are plenty of things you can do to improve your workspace that will elevate your attitude, productivity, and overall happiness.
Ken Sterling is the Chief Marketing Officer at BigSpeak Speakers’ bureau – the leading keynote and business speakers bureau in the world. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of California and an MBA from Babson College. Ken teaches Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Strategy at UC Santa Barbara. He is a serial entrepreneur, keynote speaker, business consultant and sales & marketing expert. For press interviews, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Business2Community