Earlier this year, a friend of mine enjoyed a wonderful trip to celebrate a milestone anniversary. When she returned she hit the ground running. Really. On the way back from the airport after a late cross-country flight, her husband dropped her off at her workplace where she worked several hours before going home for the first time in 10 days!
We’re different that way. She can jump into the flow of life pretty quickly. I’m more of a “need time to transition” person. I think most of us have times when we won’t be at our best and we should give ourselves grace. Here are three:
Returning from a business trip or vacation: travel is great, but it is draining. It’s wise to plan at least a half day, if not 24 hour, cushion for “re-entry.” This can provide a cushion if a delay comes up, or give you time to catch up on mundane things like unpacking and laundry. It also gives the space to reconnect with family and friends that weren’t with you on the trip, get back on your own time zone, and calibrate your emotions and thinking to the regular routine again.
Morning or evening, depending on your makeup: everyone has their own high energy times. While writing this, I’m sitting at one of my favorite coffee shops. I try to get there on a regular basis, and due to my current schedule, I arrive around 6:30 or 7am after a 35 minute drive. Some people would feel like there was no way they could have the creative energy that early in the morning, but that’s my wiring. I know, however, not to plan any energy-requiring activities after 8pm or on weekends, whereas some of my friends may just be getting going then! I have to give myself grace if I don’t get things done in the evening. I know I’ll tackle them the next morning or even, another day.
Mid-day: When you first arrive at the office? Right after lunch? Expect those low energy times and try not to plan anything too taxing at those times. Get a spurt of energy the last hour of the day? Use it to clean up all the loose ends. I’ve learned that I do not like to have a meeting at the end of the day, because I like to have time to clean up the last of email and my task list. If a meeting goes over the allotted time, that leaves those things undone or my evening off to a later start.
While you are giving yourself time management grace, remember to extend it to others around you who are not wired the same way as you are.