How to coast back into your routine.
I was on my vacation for three weeks and I made sure that I set my own rules for when I do and do not wish to be contacted and how. I made sure that I left my cell phone number only to be contacted in a specific emergency, what people in the office to contact and when I'll return any e-mails.
Now since I have just returned from my vacation lask week in which my boss was off that week I have some advice to share with you on how to coast back into your daily routine.
1. Answer the low-priority e-mail first: You may be wondering why when people return from vacation that they usualy answer the critical high-priority e-mail messages first rather than the low-priority e-mail. The answer may not seem so obvious at first but when I thought about it and it makes more sense that there are more low-priority e-mail than high-priority e-mail messages. These mesages are mostly junk that you can skim through and delete so that way you won't be spending nearly 80% of your time wasting your day on it. Look at the high-priority e-mail messages and assign your own priority to them such as for my case my bosses e-mail messages always come first, then secretary e-mails second, department e-mails third, vendors fourth and so on.
2. Don't go to your boss just let him come to you: since returning from my vacation my boss was off that entire week so I didn't bother to send him any e-mails since he did not want to be reached and prefered to be contacted only upon his own return. So in this case can really get a chance to still work on my projects and let the boss come to me when he returns instead if he has any questions for me to answer. This way I don't have any stress nor pressure to deal with only when he has an assignment for me to work on then I'll get right to work.
3. Take one project at a time: Sometimes we get innundated with a lot of last minute projects in which your boss wants you to complete within a week and other projects have a deadline. I know as everyone else knows that as with IT it is this: Everything we do has almost one thing in common: a deadline. Wether a project calls for new computer installs, network upgrades, hardware inventory take the most important ones first like the network upgrade for example followed by computer installs second. You want to make sure that your network is running smoothly before your computers get installed on the network.
4. It can wait until tommorrow or next monday: Sometimes you may either get a call or an e-mail just about 10 minutes before leaving work for the day and it never seems to fail and at the most inopotune time. In a situation such as this when you have powered off your PC or cellphone you know that whatever message that you got can wait either tommorrow or next monday since it will be waiting for you to read it.
5. Shutdown PC and or Cell phone when leaving: Its true that we all ive in a 24X7 work of constant connectivity which tugs at us at every turn that we sometimes tend to forget what is really important to us and that is our lives in the real world around us. We get so absorbed into own own pockets of cyberspace that we fail to pay attention to where we are walking, climbing stairs, crossing the street that we can hurt or critically injured. This is best to turn off the smartphone while driving and I do this before I get into my car. At dinner I have a very strict policy for everyone to turn off their smartphones, iPods, iPads ect and leave them in their own rooms so that everyone can talk face to face and share what they had done during the day, how their day went, problems ect.
We can learn to live without our devices realising that life itself is what we as human beings are more dependent on than letting our own devices run our lives for us. It's ok to use these devices just so long as they don't take over our converstations, manners and questions about life. We as human being owe it to ourselves to just turn off, cut the cord, step outside and just walk through the woods, down the street, be at the beach and just soak up the sun.