post by Stephanie Nelson
This week, I returned to work after the SBN Marketing annual retreat. For the last 6 years, the retreat was somewhere around 4 days, usually over a weekend, so it was a good break, but basically consisted of taking a long weekend. This year, the retreat was a week and a half – by far the longest I’d been out of the office since I went out on my own. Heck…it was the longest I’d been out of the office in my entire career, I think! So how did I do it without going crazy? Here are a few tips:
- I let my clients know of my travel plans before I left, and I let them know how I’d be taking care of their account while away. Everyone was on-board with me taking a break, especially when they knew they weren’t being “abandoned” during that time. A couple of them even texted me while I was gone to make sure I was having a good time, which was a nice surprise.
- I worked ahead before I left. I completed all the work I could not just for the time I was gone, but for this week, too. That created a bit of stress in the weeks before I left, but it allowed me focus on the retreat while away AND have a lighter than usual week when getting back into the grind.
- I set a clear out-of-office message on my email. It laid out exactly when I’d be gone, what time I’d be returning to the office on my first day back, and how often it’d be possible for me to even look at my email while I was away.
- I kept my word on my OOO message’s terms of checking email, and I responded as I could while away. While this may seem counterintuitive, it lessened the stress of returning to an inbox full of hundreds of messages that needed to be sorted through.
- I spent time the Sunday before I returned to work on Monday looking at my calendar and making sure I was on top of what was on tap for the week. That let me mentally prepare a bit more slowly, before sitting down at my computer Monday morning.
So that’s how I re-entered the real world this week. How about you? Got tips on how to get back to work after a break without undoing all the relaxation you just achieved? Give me a shout!
PS – The image in this post was my view during part of the retreat. Coming back to the real world was HARD! ha ha ha