You've had three blissful days without email, meetings, and business calls, but now it's time to put Labor Day weekend behind you and get ready for work. If you feel daunted by the prospect of returning to reality, don't stress; there is a way to deal with long-weekend scaries. Inc. canvassed leading CEOs, psychologists, and career coaches to find out how highly effective people transition from a vacation mind-set to career mind-set. Hint: It starts the day before. Follow their top tips to kick-start your productivity like a pro.
Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat and author of The Open Organization, recommends setting time aside at the end of the weekend to "lay out what you want to accomplish that first week back. It only takes 15 or 20 minutes, but I find that a little bit of pre-planning drives much of how I spend my time during the week," he says. Grab your agenda and start penciling out a plan now.
Returning to an overflowing inbox is enough to induce anxiety on its own. Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal, says he deletes email clutter upon returning from vacation. His stance is tough: "Instead of sorting through them all, I deleted everything that didn't have an attachment and moved on. If it was really important, they emailed me again."
If you're tempted to loiter around the water cooler and catch up with colleagues, Spencer X. Smith, a consultant and former vice president of sales at a Fortune 100 company, has a handy tip to fight distraction. Upon returning, he says to immediately pinpoint the most important task of the day and have "at least two high-priority business development opportunities scheduled for right when you get back." Why? "Instead of returning to work with a whimper, these meetings will both get you excited and force you to step up your game immediately," he says. "That momentum will carry through the rest of the week."