I love to travel, but for me, the hardest part is getting back in the groove after a trip.
Lately, I’ve been working on the road just as much as I’ve been working at home. Travels through 12 states have made for wonderful opportunities, but it’s also had some challenges.
So as I work on-board another airplane, I thought I’d share some of the things I do to have a smoother re-entry when I return.
#1 – Set a goal of not getting behind in one specific area of work.
For me, this is my email. Email is like a snowball…the more you roll it over and procrastinate, the bigger it gets. But this is my #1 priority while I’m gone, even if it means that I’m replying at midnight when I want to go sleep. As long as I stick to my regular email management strategy (Yesterbox), I stay less anxious and avoid the nightmare of a full inbox upon my return.
#2 – Don’t book any meetings for the day after you return.
If at all possible, I avoid planning meetings for my first day back. This gives me a chance to have extra rest if I come home exhausted, and it gives me a day to get my head screwed back on straight before I dive in too deep.
#3 – Unpack immediately
I owe Melanie for encouraging me to do this habit, as I used to unpack when I finally got around to it. Now, I’m usually unpacked within a few hours of arriving home. Not only does this help me settle back in, but this also takes care of my laundry.
#4 – Write all your to-dos down on paper BEFORE you get back.
As I sat in the airport while waiting to board my flight, I could feel my anxiety rising as my brain filled with all the to-do’s swirling around in my head. I kept remembering all the things I had forgotten about or needed to complete when I arrived home. Fortunately, I had a notepad handy and as soon as I got everything written down with a daily plan for completion, I felt calmer.
#5 – Prioritize
It’s not possible to get caught up on everything at once, so it’s critical to prioritize and choose wisely about what gets your immediate attention. The squeaky wheel may want the grease, but chances are, that’s not the best priority to focus on.
#6 – Recognize that I’m on God’s timetable.
This is a hard one for me because I’m always forgetting that God should be the one who not only sets my to-do list but also plans out my day. My definition of productive isn’t always God’s definition of productive. Fortunately, as Proverbs 16:9 says, “A man’s heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps.”
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