How to Successfully Return to Routine 

 June 10, 2021

The scene is set.

It’s Sunday evening, you and your family just returned from a 10-day vacation somewhere warm, but now you need to shift your focus back toward your business. 

As you consider what a trainwreck your email inbox must look like, the tasks piling up, co-workers and employees swarming your desk with needs, it seems it would be easier to just jump back on that airplane, never to return again.

But, just like you and your family needed that vacation, your business needs you – and it needs you at your best. 

Here’s how to successfully return to routine (most likely from vacation…)

  • Get Organized

Getting organized after time-off can come in many different ways. Some prefer checklists while others like scripts. 

Either way, it’s important to spend a 20-30 minute period of time prior to the start of your week planning out priority items. If you miss this step, you could find yourself reacting to problems rather than planning solutions.

When you use a checklist or a day script to get organized, the feelings of overwhelm begin to diminish. Now, instead of seeing this ocean of things to do, you have small, bite-size chunks to take care of. One at a time.

  • Start Small

It’s very common for people to think that getting back into a routine needs to happen all at once. 

This simply is not true. 

In fact, you will most likely find that re-introducing small areas of routine will be more effective than going from nothing to everything all at once. 

Recently, my wife and I moved from Los Angeles, California to Seattle, Washington. I spent the majority of two weeks packing, planning, and driving up the coast. 

After spending a few days enjoying the new city and unpacking, I jumped back into my work. 

But, rather than jumping back into everything all at once, I re-introduced an area of my normal routine, one week at a time. 

The first week, I was back to getting up and going to bed at the same time. This was to intentionally set my circadian rhythm. 

The second week, back to the gym! I am very finicky when it comes to going to the gym… If I’m doing too many things, it’s often the gym that gets tossed aside. Maybe you can relate?

By reintroducing pieces, I didn’t face any symptoms of overwhelm or burnout in the process. Allowing a simple and smooth transition from vacation back to work.

  • Go Easy on Yourself!

Getting back into a routine isn’t the easiest thing to do. Everyone struggles with it. Take some time in the process to remember that you are human – not everything will go perfectly as planned – and you may even learn a few things about yourself in the process. 

The key is, don’t allow the struggles to overcome your vision. When you originally established the routines you now have in your life, there was purpose behind it. 

When coming back from vacation or a brief time off, remember that purpose and allow that to continue to move you forward.