I am aware and I apologize for my absence so far this week. The problem is that I am right in the middle of the hardest part of my working life for me — I just returned from vacation. It was an amazing and fantastic trip full of highlights and planned pleasures and unexpected treats. The weather was perfect (okay, it was really, really hot, but we won´t complain), we fell in love with some new places and renewed our love for some familiar old haunts and found a hundred new things to get excited about. It was exactly the break my partner and I were both looking for.
The problem, though, is that it had to end. Whenever I have an especially good vacation, I find the time immediately after it to be very hard. I almost always come home to a mountain of work, and figuring out where to get started on it is a real challenge. On top of that I usually suffer through a bit of post-trip malaise. Under the theory that the grass is always greener somewhere else, my hometown always seems a little duller, a little less exciting and a lot less interesting than wherever I just was. All in all it makes for a lousy few days. Sure I feel refreshed and energized and excited about possibilities, but it is very hard for me to get back into the "normal´ swing of things.
The way to avoid this, or at least to decrease it, would be to make the pile of work waiting for you as small as it can possibly be. I did a good job of doing all the work I had to have done for when I was gone well in advance (you certainly didn´t even notice I was gone), but, if I had it all to do over again, I would have done an extra week of work in advance. It would have been painful at the time, but that way I could have come home, caught up on the pressing work, and had a week where I didn´t have to worry about the recurring, timeless work like this article.
Unfortunately, some work waiting for you is inevitable. You will always have an e-mail inbox full of stuff to respond to (or delete), a voicemail box full of messages, and a stack of snail mail to wade through. I´ve applied my typically ruthless approaches to get through that stuff fairly quickly, but it still isn´t all that much fun. Since it is summer, and we are in the middle of vacation season, let me open it up to you, the readers — does anyone have any great tips they use to deal with returning from vacation? Post them as comments or send them to me in an e-mail and we´ll see if we can get a discussion going to make this transition smoother and easier.