Have you ever been in the middle of a situation and thought, “I know better!  How in the world did I get here?”  This “situation” is my life this week.

Let me set the stage for you . . .

We left for an “impromptu mini-vacation” last week.  We left early on Thursday morning and returned in the late afternoon on Monday.  I am now paying the price for those 5 days away.

indians vs reds

Watching the Cleveland Indians take on the Reds!

Hard to believe that being away for 5 days (and truly only 3 work days) could “cause” this much havoc in my schedule.  (Are you listening close to the victim mentality going on here?!)

YES – even a time strategy visionary can have a havoc filled schedule when she gets away from what makes her successful.  

You see, I CRAMMED every bit of “stuff” I could into the few days before I left and the few days when I returned.  I was reactive – not proactive!

In case you are wondering – this is not a very stress-free way to utilize your calendar!  AND – I most certainly am not RELAXED anymore!

So, what happened, and why am I sharing?

Challenge #1 – We decided at the “last minute” to go out-of-town”.

Challenge #2 – I forgot I wasn’t Superwoman and reverted to “old Lisa” where it is OK to work VERY LONG days.

Let me explain.

Since I realize that my tendency is to “get it done” regardless of how long it takes, I’ve learned that creating structure in my schedule to “save me from myself” is a key to my living a life I enjoy.

  • I block off hours of the day that are for non-working activities.
  • I take long weekends in the summer to recharge my batteries and enjoy life.
  • I create a plan – so I take care of myself first!
Loveless Cafe

One of my favorite places in Nashville, the Loveless Cafe!

Normally, when I go out-of-town for an extended period of time, I block off the day before I leave and the day when I return with no scheduled appointments or tasks.  This structure allows me to feel relaxed before I leave for vacation, and relaxed upon my return.  (You know what I mean . . . the last minute trips to the grocery store at 10 pm are avoided, I’m not up until 2 am doing laundry, I’m caught up on all communication .  . .)

But this time, because we decided last minute to visit my favorite city, Nashville, I didn’t leave myself a re-entry buffer.  Or, time to pack.  Or, time to think or plan.  Only time to react.

Plus, I took the appointments and tasks that were scheduled for Thursday, Friday, and Monday and moved them to right before we left and the few days when we returned.  So – now I’m all over the place the next few days – jamming 6 days of work into 3.

Good intentions, relaxed schedule, high efficiency OUT THE WINDOW!!!

Why am I sharing this with you?

  • It’s important to remind both of us, that I’m human!  (lol)
  • With some preplanning, you can be relaxed when you get back from vacation.  (A client recently shared with me, “I need a vacation from my vacation”!  This isn’t ideal!)
  • Backsliding (reverting to old behavior) is normal – for all of us!  Having a structure to bring you back is a key to success.

How can this look different for YOU?

  • Plan to take the day before and the day after vacation off.  (Normally people don’t even know we are home for a day!)
  • Know your tendencies and build in some structure for yourself.  (If you aren’t sure how to create this structure – reach out for some help.)
  • Remember it’s OK to say “NO”.   Everything isn’t a high priority.

So – I’m taking some of my own advice right now – and rescheduling a couple of appointments from later this week to next week.  I deserve to stay happy and relaxed – and so do you!

Oh – did I mention we had a great time?  We really did!  AND as soon as I simply my schedule, I’ll be able to recapture some of that FUN!

When do you find you need to be saved from yourself?  What strategies do you use to stay relaxed when you return from vacation?  Please share!