Work Re-Entry After Travel

May 14 2014 Published by under Travel

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I have returned to my office/clinic/hospital after two weeks on the road. I often tweet "No trip goes unpunished" during this period, because I always find an amazing amount of catch-up, even if my travels took me to something work-related with no opportunities for fun.

Some things can make this adjustment more tolerable:

  • Return home a day early, or take an extra day off: I got home Saturday night, so some of the laundry and household stuff got handled before I had a single chore at work. It cannot always be accomplished, but it sure helps if you can swing it.
  • When traveling on business, organize receipts during the trip: For this past travel block, I had 4 separate conferences. Receipts must be kept for reimbursement and, when I am paying my way, for tax purposes. Having each meeting's receipts in a separate envelope improved my mood substantially as I scanned and organized them. Scanning en route provides the most efficiency (see my review of Expensify from last year) so your report can be assembled quickly, but some organizations still want hard copy receipts.
  • Even on vacation, scanning your email for 5 or 10 minutes each day can make re-entry so much more pleasant: at least two-thirds of the emails I receive can be deleted, often without reading. Most of the rest requires no action on my part or a quick reply via smart phone. After a week incommunicado, I could easily accumulate 500 messages. Coming back to 20 makes that first day less onerous.
  • Finally, prioritize: Many of these items have been on hold pending your return to reality. Most of them can remain on the back burner until it's their turn for action. You do not have to get everything done at once. If you try, you will make yourself crazy, and then you will just need a vacation (and do this all over again).
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