So you did it: you took time off from your regular work, you shut down the reminders of what you usually do every day. You took a vacation.
And now, you are preparing to go back to your typical routine. Here are some tips for that:
1. Take a deep breath. Let the effects of time away sink in. Anything you learned about yourself, or your regular routine, or your work? Bring it with you.
2. Pick one piece to re-plug at a time. Is that email? Your calendar? Twitter? Wherever you feel like you can get a big-picture sense of things without having to act immediately. Open that up, and take a look. But just a look. Don’t dive in quite yet–no need to be overwhelmed the second you arrive back.
3. Once you’ve skimmed the first set of things, pick a second one to plug back in. Skim that, and integrate its contents into your understanding of what’s coming up in your daily work.
4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have a full picture of what you need to know.
5. Notice anything you haven’t yet re-plugged. Consider whether you have to re-plug it at all: you are in control here. If it doesn’t serve your needs and doesn’t help you live a balanced life, maybe you don't need it! Maybe you can let that one go.
6. Go back to your clear, full picture of things. One at a time, start addressing whatever has come in during your break. Take breaths along the way. Pace yourself.
7. After you’ve gotten through all the pieces you missed over your break, consider anything you want to incorporate into your new, refreshed routine. Now is a great time to modify your typical day to include anything that could make it even better, more balanced. Bring in whatever you’ll need to sustain your routine until your next unplugging.
8. Schedule your next unplugging. Maybe it’s not for a number of months, or maybe you can find time for a mini-unplugging before the next big one. One weekend a month, maybe? A few hours a week? Find yourself new ways to look at time. Remember, you’re in charge of your life. You deserve to make it as fantastic as it can be.