Keeping Those Good Vacation Vibes, the Answer Isn't in Your Inbox

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Stay focused on the big picture when returning from vacation and that doesn't include your inbox

There are few moments as euphoric as those right after the last conference call, the final meeting or that instant when you flip the switch on your email to automatically tell the world that from this point forward, you are on vacation. You're gone. Off to the beach, the slopes, the national parks or a foreign cities. At the very least, it's a few extra days with family and friends while the rest of the world is stuck in the grind. Whether it's a week or a just a few days, the point is to breathe slower, sleep later and leave the stress of the office behind. 

But then it ends. It always ends. And the path back can be ugly.

All those good vacation vibes are wiped out in the few short seconds it takes to scroll past the first hundred emails; our anxiety rises as we page down and start imagining the monumental effort ahead.

But maybe we can take more control over the transition back to work.  

Peter Bregman is the CEO of Bregman Partners, a leadership consulting firm and author of the Harvard Business Review article, "What to Do on Your First Day Back from Vacation."  

"Before you do anything, you should pause for a moment and think about what is it that is most important for the organization to accomplish," Bregman tells Charlie Herman, host of WNYC's Money Talking. "You want to reconnect with the vision of the organization. You want to reconnect with the strategy." 

In other words, don't get lost in the small, transactional aspects of the job, like your inbox. It's only going to recreate the anxiety you went on vacation to escape. You'll get to those eventually. 

Bregman says that for him, a successful transition back to work starts with "knowing what will move the business forward and me forward and then filtering everything that I do through that lens."