BACK FROM BREAK
An incredible few days away from it all. Be it the sunny shores of a beach on a distant island, wandering the pine-scented trails, or the laughter of family around the dinner table - the day-to-day grind was a distant memory as we indulged in serene moments on vacation.
But here we are, back at it, hard at work on our next project. It could just be your typical work day or an after-work passion project that's a part of your bigger dream, but in those first few days back, we are sluggish and unmotivated. Our mind wanders back to the easier times we just left. Why does this happen, and what can we do to set ourselves back up for success?
Our mind is incredible at adapting to new instances and environments. This wonder of biology is genuinely our advantage over all other creatures, a sentiment presented in Darwin's Origin of a Species:
"It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able best to adapt and adjust to the changing environment in which it finds itself."
-Megginson, 'Lessons from Europe for American Business,' Southwestern Social Science Quarterly (1963) 44(1): 3-13, at p. 4.
Sadly, this is also the root cause of our post-vacation blues. Our minds and bodies had already started adapting to the new mode of life we experienced on vacation. However, our physiology didn't know we were just on vacation, so it began to adapt to its new surroundings and adjust to that as the norm. Knowing that, how do we get back to our productive routines? Let's break it down.
Action Steps to Diving Back
Preparation for Your Escape
Prepare, then take it all in. Before you go on vacation, make sure you're at a natural stopping point in projects and take brief notes to put yourself back into "go" mode upon your return. But once you've begun that vacation, do everything in your power to completely let go and immerse yourself in the experience. Try not to think about work, talk about it, nothing. Live in the moment entirely so you can return fully refreshed.
Give Yourself Extra Time
Come home from your trip early, or give yourself a day to establish yourself. Taking that extra day for self-care after vacation will make the conversion much more manageable and allow your body and mind to transition back into the routine you've built for yourself. Also, do some non-work related projects, and get a good night's sleep. Fatigue is one of the issues we will combat the next day.
Swap Meetings for Check-Ins
Instead of regular meetings, seek out connections and collaboration in an informal way. It could be co-workers or whoever you are building the podcast with, but try and sync up. Meetings after a vacation can be strained and unproductive. Instead, brief check-ins with a few notes can help highlight upcoming deadlines and establish that comradery towards a common goal that often pushes us forward.
Get to the Fun Part
Seek out the exciting project first. Work will seem easier if you're looking forward to it, so jump into that project first and push the other dull ones out till the end of the week when you have more focus to allocate to them. Engaging a passion with vigor is often the best way to remind ourselves why we started the pursuit in the first place.
Give Yourself Grace
Be easy on yourself. Everyone experiences this feeling post-vacation. Giving yourself grace can go a long way in combating the shame we feel with a lack of productivity. Schedule a few short breaks in your work day, especially if you can use them to get outside. Fresh air and seeing the sky can help you regain focus much more efficiently than scrolling your phone for five minutes. Those phone breaks are the number one culprit for robbing us of our long-term focus.
Overall, know you're not alone. By following a few simple tips, we can find ourselves back on the pursuit in no time. The Holiday season hits us all differently with unique stresses and strange timelines, so it's important to stay on task in the days following the Thanksgiving break. Just in time for that second long vacation, only this time, we know the notes to help play us through the post-vacation blues.
Trevin hosts a meeting and walks down the front hall of the SWAE facility wearing the White Ouroboros Tee.
Colton is pictured putting on his lab coat and working on the rims of Pistris, wearing his black Ouroboros Tee.
Britney can be seen propping up the Black SWAE logo hoodie for product shots.