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Post-Vacation Syndrome: 5 Struggles Everyone Can Relate To After A Long Holiday

Post-Vacation Syndrome: 5 Struggles Everyone Can Relate To After A Long Holiday

We all love long vacations. Sun, sand, parties and exotic island sleep-ins. It’s the time you take to spend your precious work entitlement, let your hair down, and throw caution to the wind- well, that’s what you dream of, anyway. Too often your sun-drenched dreams are shattered as you return to the realities of working life and, typically, to the pile of unanswered emails awaiting you in your inbox.

Emails aside, here are five struggles you’ve undoubtedly encountered at some stage during your post-vacation crash:

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1. You dread being in your own house

After the star-studded splendor of the Hilton and the rigorous attention to detail of the Radisson, your humble abode is hardly a tropical oasis that’s exciting to return to. Time around the pool is replaced by time mowing the lawn, walks on the beach are now walks on the treadmill, and the bikini girls you spent hours watching (narrowly avoiding being caught out by your partner) are now figures of your imagination. You’re back at that place called home, and it sucks. You now remember why TV was invented, and have a new appreciation for the work they do on the TV show, The Block.

2. You realize you’re broke

Vacation’s over, time to inspect the budget. The first day back at work is normally spent trolling through account statements and drinking copious amounts of office coffee to try to fill the gaping hole in your stomach- a hole caused by the slow realization that your hard-earned savings were stolen by Santa. Well, actually it was you acting as Santa and buying all those treats for the kids, the pamper session for your wife, and that duty free computer you had to have at the Los Angeles International Airport. No amount of liquid luck can hide the fact that your healthy bank balance just had a stroke, and it’s up to you to administer CPR.

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3. You feel time has slowed

In the days following your return from vacation, you seem to have had trouble with that fancy Rolex you purchased from a friendly gentleman in a tailored suit standing on the sidewalk of a busy street in Baghdad. You are sure that it’s running slow, and are considering your options for a replacement, when you realize it’s not the watch, it’s just that life seems slow and boring compared to your vacation. Oh well. You take solace in the fact that there could be nothing wrong with your beautiful, brand new watch… Wait, is that “Rolox” inscribed on the back?

4.  You daydream a lot

While you’re sitting in your office at work, you hear a knock on the door and your boss enters, holding a big yellow file. He’s red in the face, and shouting something at you, and all you can manage to do is smile, wave, and walk out the door. You leave the building with the idea of selling everything you own, jumping on a plane to a tropical island somewhere, and living off fish and coconuts while spending every day on the beach with the sun in your face.
Then you wake up.
It’s not the boss, it’s your co-worker inquiring about the blank look on your face, and cautiously asking if everything is OK, as it seems to have become a regular occurrence. Rats. Another lunchtime daydream spoiled. But wait, your Rolox says you’ve got time for one more…

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5. You realize that you’re a cog in the machine

Blinded by the euphoria of travel, and the expectation of adventure, excitement, and an unlimited supply of Coronas delivered to your hammock by attractive wait staff, during your vacation work took a welcome sideline seat. But once the party’s over, and the reality of life sinks in upon return from your vacation, you seem to see things in a whole new light. Suddenly, that task that you’ve been assigned seems trivial, and you wonder how the 700 other people in your office can stand coming in day in, day out, to work in a place where you don’t even know what your CEO looks like in person. The free beers from the friendly bar manager at the “Rio de Beerto” inspires you more than the establishment you work for when you realize that here you really have no greater purpose than to make the shareholders rich, and your clients happy. Oh well, at least there’s free coffee in the staff room down the hall…

Featured photo credit: Travel | Kathmandu | Nepal via flickr.com

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Last Updated on April 8, 2020

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Why Assuming Positive Intent Is an Amazing Productivity Driver

Assuming positive intent is an important contributor to quality of life.

Most people appreciate the dividends such a mindset produces in the realm of relationships. How can relationships flourish when you don’t assume intentions that may or may not be there? And how their partner can become an easier person to be around as a result of such a shift? Less appreciated in the GTD world, however, is the productivity aspect of this “assume positive intent” perspective.

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Most of us are guilty of letting our minds get distracted, our energy sapped, or our harmony compromised by thinking about what others woulda, coulda, shoulda.  How we got wronged by someone else.  How a friend could have been more respectful.  How a family member could have been less selfish.

However, once we evolve to understanding the folly of this mindset, we feel freer and we become more productive professionally due to the minimization of unhelpful, distracting thoughts.

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The leap happens when we realize two things:

  1. The self serving benefit from giving others the benefit of the doubt.
  2. The logic inherent in the assumption that others either have many things going on in their lives paving the way for misunderstandings.

Needless to say, this mindset does not mean that we ought to not confront people that are creating havoc in our world.  There are times when we need to call someone out for inflicting harm in our personal lives or the lives of others.

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Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of Pepsi, says it best in an interview with Fortune magazine:

My father was an absolutely wonderful human being. From ecent emailhim I learned to always assume positive intent. Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different. When you assume negative intent, you’re angry. If you take away that anger and assume positive intent, you will be amazed. Your emotional quotient goes up because you are no longer almost random in your response. You don’t get defensive. You don’t scream. You are trying to understand and listen because at your basic core you are saying, ‘Maybe they are saying something to me that I’m not hearing.’ So ‘assume positive intent’ has been a huge piece of advice for me.

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In business, sometimes in the heat of the moment, people say things. You can either misconstrue what they’re saying and assume they are trying to put you down, or you can say, ‘Wait a minute. Let me really get behind what they are saying to understand whether they’re reacting because they’re hurt, upset, confused, or they don’t understand what it is I’ve asked them to do.’ If you react from a negative perspective – because you didn’t like the way they reacted – then it just becomes two negatives fighting each other. But when you assume positive intent, I think often what happens is the other person says, ‘Hey, wait a minute, maybe I’m wrong in reacting the way I do because this person is really making an effort.

“Assume positive intent” is definitely a top quality of life’s best practice among the people I have met so far. The reasons are obvious. It will make you feel better, your relationships will thrive and it’s an approach more greatly aligned with reality.  But less understood is how such a shift in mindset brings your professional game to a different level.

Not only does such a shift make you more likable to your colleagues, but it also unleashes your talents further through a more focused, less distracted mind.

More Tips About Building Positive Relationships

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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