This time of year many are planning/preparing/taking their vacations. If you are like most of us, you’ll cram as much as you can into your last work day before leaving, rushing to get everything up to date so you can depart. Likewise, the first day you return to work will likely be jammed with people wanting to see you, a huge amount of emails needing your attention (unless you do work on your vacation which is usually unwise), and meetings that others have put on your calendar. In fact, many of us dread our first day back for this very reason.
Kevin Kruse, in his terrific book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, offers a powerful idea: schedule a buffer day before and after your vacation. These days are blocked for catching up. No pre-planned meetings, no project work, no lunches. Just guard these days, especially the first day back from vacation – to catch up on emails, phone calls, processing your in box and short meetings you schedule with staff to get back up to speed. Just knowing you have this day blocked to catch up and getting your own stuff in order will help you truly rest and relax when you are away. Why not give it a try?