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Vacations take you out of the office, and that creates physical and mental distance from your work.
When it comes to working, distance is a double-edged sword. It can help you think about your priorities, but it can also make the volume of what you have to accomplish seem insurmountable.
If you have a big project to complete, you may find it difficult to see how you’ll actually get it done. That means you need to turn the abstract task into specific steps you can complete. Go back to your to-do list and dedicate specific times to addressing particular components of the bigger project.
Even if you believe deeply in the mission behind the work you’re doing, you might still have trouble getting back into your work after taking time off. It may be that you’re just bored with the set of tasks you’re performing.
Work on concepts like flow suggests that people are most engaged with their work when they’re working right at the limit of what they’re capable of doing, and where each action succeeds and naturally leads to the next. If you’re not getting this sense of daily engagement, the job you’re in may no longer be a challenge for you.
Taking time away to relax, reflect, and recharge comes with several benefits. Yet there are times when your vacation ends but your motivation to dive back into work doesn’t follow.
If you work remotely, it may be particularly difficult to get back into your routine, because you’re not around other people who have been working steadily while you were away.
When you go on vacation, you realign your priorities.
When you get back to the workplace, you may need to convince yourself that the collection of tasks you’re doing is worth the effort.
Take the time to look at the work you’ve done. What are the big-picture things you’ve accomplished? The real sense of mission in your work comes from that combination of seeing how the tasks you perform are connected to a more significant set of outcomes.
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