How to Settle Down After a Vacation

Leo Babauta has experienced all the “advantages” of the post-vacation period: Jet lag as sleep problems, child’s falling ill after the trip and a complete lack of motivation. But, as always, he perfectly coped with difficulties and found four rules for returning of motivation. The rules may be useful for you.


So, you get back to work after a few weeks of a pleasant trip. You slowly cope with tiredness after a long road and overcome jet lag after the flight and the next day you have to be at work. Will it be hard? At first time – for sure.

But there is a chance to relieve your habituation to working days. Here are four tips from Leo Babauta, a famous blogger that will help you to motivate yourself after the holiday and to pitch into the job.

Get Some Rest

Probably the biggest reason I have trouble getting motivated is that I’m tired. Really tired. You might think that I’d be well rested after a vacation, but we spend a lot of time hiking through mountainous areas, exploring cities by foot, being active on the beach, and are generally more active on vacation than we are at home. So I’m tired — and being exhausted makes it hard to get motivated.

Rest as much as possible for a few days at least. Sometimes a week.

Take naps, sleep in, take it easy for a little while.

That doesn’t mean you do nothing, but rest should be a top priority in the days following a long break or vacation.

Find a Purpose

If I’m not motivated, it’s usually because I don’t have a driving purpose that makes me want to do some work. I don’t have a reason to get cranking.

Find something, anything, that helps other people. That will change their lives in a meaningful way. Really think about that change, about those people. If I feel the pain they’re going through, or see how they’re stuck in some way, I feel motivated to help.

We’re all like that. We all want to help people, even if we have more selfish tendencies much of the time. Tap into this, and find a reason to get moving.

Get the Ball Rolling

It’s overwhelming to think about a mountain of work you need to get working on, and when we’re overwhelmed, we often don’t even want to start.

Do something small. Ideally, it’s related to the purpose you’ve found. You just need to do something.

Set yourself a task — just one single task — of doing something very easy. For example, I told myself to write one paragraph of the book I’m writing.

When it’s that easy, you can hardly say no. It’s no longer overwhelming. And once you get started, you feel more motivated. Set another easy task, and then another, until you’re at full steam.

Add Accountability

For me, it’s easy to put off work, because no one will yell at me or fire me if I don’t get to work right away. I can spend several days goofing off and the world won’t fall apart. When you don’t have anyone to answer to, it can be hard to find motivation.

Ask someone to give you accountability. Tell them you’re going to send them a draft of whatever you’re working on by tomorrow, or regularly give them your work every Friday. Ask them to make sure you get this in to them.

Not a vacation only

There are lots of times in our lives when we’re not motivated, not just after vacation or a long break. And these tips will work for any of those times.

If you’re facing one of those unmotivated times in your life, try these tactics, or a combination of a couple of them, and see if it works for you:

  1. Get lots of rest.
  2. Find a purpose, where you’re helping people.
  3. Get the ball rolling with a very small task.
  4. Ask someone to hold you accountable.

And how do you deal with apathy and unwillingness to work?


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