Kalico Design

Biz Talk :: Getting Back “In the Zone” After a Holiday or Vacation

It’s the Monday after Thanksgiving, and Leigh and I are back at work while Kim is soaking in the sun on her Florida vacation. (We’d hate her, but we know she deserves a break!) As much as we enjoy working here at Kalico, it’s hard to come back any job after a long weekend, especially one spent doing nothing but eating and lounging around!

With several religious holidays and New Year’s approaching, it can’t hurt to have a plan for how to get back “in the zone” after enjoying time off from work. Here’s what we find helpful:

Clean before the break
A messy desk is not a pleasant sight to see when you arrive to work. Tidy up (and take the trash out!) before you leave for vacation. If you hire a cleaning service, consider having them come while you’re away or early in the morning on the day you return.

Plan ahead for your return
Don’t wait until you get back to set up a plan for the work day. The Kalico team met last Wednesday to discuss the work that needed to get done THIS week, which helped us all map out our schedules accordingly. My to-do list was waiting for me when I arrived today (a practice I implement as part of my morning routine). We recommend pushing meetings until the afternoon to give yourself the morning for e-mail communication and task completion.

Play upbeat music
Try a holiday station on Pandora, a playlist comprised of catchy oldies or the soundtrack to your favorite movie!

Hold a status meeting
A quick status meeting puts everyone on the same page and provides an opportunity for asking questions and offering suggestions. Even though Kim is on vacation, Leigh and I still met to briefly review the status of our client projects.

Give yourself a break
Step away from your desk for a short walk, even if it’s just to make a cup of coffee. I purposefully don’t fill my water bottle up completely so that I’m forced to get up from my desk several times a day. The brief stretch helps relieve stiffness and provides a minute for my mind to wander from work tasks.

Enjoy a reminder from your vacation
Whether it’s coffee from the country you just visited, leftovers from a holiday meal or a picture on your bulletin board, a reminder of your vacation will cheer you up when work is feeling overwhelming or mundane.

Take a nap
Pull a George Costanza and grab some Z’s under your desk. JUST KIDDING! Don’t do this.