There are days like today when the phone feels heavy and I do not yet know how to work things out. I am back in the office after wonderful 10 day vacation. The fridge today was empty and figuring out breakfast for children required creativity. Outlook has problems and is not connecting, the earliest pediatricians’ appointment for regular check up is available in 8 weeks. Our dual career challenges are coming back: next week both Maks and I need to travel and we haven’t yet figured out what to do with children. None of the alternatives feel right. There is no crisis yet, but I am completely out of control on so many fronts…. These days #1 after vacation are not easy.
This is what helps me to get through them
- If you can come back middle of the week (you avoid Sunday afternoon flood of emails and really urgent things will be solved by Wednesday. Plus flights are cheaper)
- Do not have high expectations on what you will achieve on day 1 – it will be mostly getting up to date. I remind myself every time, yet I always have my expectations higher than the reality
- Pre- plan as much as possible before you leave for vacation(frozen food as example or coffee in the cupboard)
- Keep your office bag /school bags ready before you go on vacation (finding my badge or computer cord sometimes consumed up to 15 minutes of first back-to-work morning. This time I packed my bag before leaving and it was a major help especially after I tried out 3 outfits and nothing worked.
- Leave half a day free to catch up or at least couple of hours (no 9 or even 9:30 am meetings)
- If you have direct reports, start from short 1on1s with them – you will be updated on 80% of news and then read messages from managers starting backwards (from the latest ones)
- Look good and wear something that you like (you will receive some compliments during the day because you are rested and in your favourite outfit – it will definitely cheer you up)
- Try not to lose your fresh perspective as long as you can. Document your decisions before you forget them
And most importantly do 1 thing at a time with a smile
and now i am going to do my 1 most important thing to get ready for tomorrow day #2