Bouncing back into work after a trip

How do you get back to your writing after a trip? This post may be too personal to make much sense to anyone, but if nothing else it is a reminder for myself. After my nine trips last year, this is what I learned:

* 1) If I try to wake up ridiculously early the morning after getting back from a trip and become really tough on myself,I burn out within a week, and it doesn’t help my productivity, because then I need a week to recover from pushing myself too hard.
* 2) I also found that letting myself ease into work too slowly doesn’t help me develop a working rhythm, because I will lie in bed for all the wrong hours and get more jetlagged than I already need to be.
* 3 Drink lots of water. Helps with jetlag and general mental and physical well-being.
* 4) Make moderation your motto. For me, this is getting to work by 9.30am and going somewhere pleasant. This is a favorite coffee shop or nice sunny spot in the library. Somewhere that you don’t feel like you are chaining yourself to your desk, but you are there because you want to be. Stay until lunch, and then if you want to go home and pay bills or do laundry, go catch up on those things.
* 5) Feeling overwhelmed when you get back is natural. Don’t look at everything you have to accomplish in the next month, or even the next week. Just focus on getting into the rhythm of work. Before you know it, you’ll be meeting your goals again.
* 6) Be gentle with yourself. Sending yourself negative messages doesn't help! You will need time to recover. Just take it one day at a time and develop your work rhythm first.

What do YOU do to get back to work after a trip?


Seeking Solace said...

I have to unpack and do the laundry as soon as I return. My house is clean because I have to do it before I leave. It's an OCD thing.

I try to do my regular schedule, but allow myself to take it down a notch.

AliceAcademic said...

Seeking Solace, I'm impressed that you manage to clean before leaving town! I am lucky if I get my bags packed in time. I will have to adopt this strategy of yours. It makes a great deal of sense to prepare your house in advance for your return.

Bookbag said...

I'll delurk to say that I think your advice is spot-on. I think your approach to writing and travel is sensible and sane. I tend to give myself a few days off from writing -- I really, really don't write well when I'm tired -- but use the jetlagged first days home to catch up on errands and administrative tasks, like filing the paperwork for a classroom request or organizing my application schedule. That way, I feel like I'm being productive but in a way I can handle.

Great blog!

AliceAcademic said...

Hi Bookbag ( I love your pseudonym, btw)Thanks for delurking to say hello. Glad you like the blog. Doing errands and admin stuff is a great suggestion, especially since that's usually the stuff that gets put off indefinitely in my world.