GTD after Vacation

One of the few downfalls of taking a family vacation is the avalanche of work awaiting you when you return home. When you work from home, the amount of "stuff" to be done feels like double because you're hit with both your domestic and professional responsibilities the moment you walk in the door. If ever there were a need for the GTD mindset, it's at moments like this. You've just arrived from a glorious week of fun and you're welcomed home by ten loads of laundry, a week's worth of snail mail, plants that need watering, souvenirs that need putting away, photos that need developing and phone calls that need returning. And all of this happens before you even step foot into your home office. If you're extremely lucky, you've arrived home with all of your luggage intact and you're not jet lagged from missed airline connections.

Feel like walking back out the door? Nope, can't do it. Thankfully, with GTD you can devise a plan of attack for getting back to business. First off, collect all of the items needing your attention. We travel frequently enough that I actually have a post-vacation checklist for things that need to be taken care of routinely upon returning home. Take half and hour to sit down and collect your thoughts about everything that needs to be completed and then begin your processing. Don't expect to be back to 100% productivity within an hour of arriving home, but don't react with panic mode. Having an organized plan and knowing precisely what tasks need to be completed should give you an idea of the time frame you're looking at for getting caught up. Communicate with family members and co-workers about projects that may involve them and let them know your expected time frames. By looking at next actions that can be easily chipped away and organizing projects that may take a bit more time, you don't completely lose out on the sense of rest and relaxation you had during your vacation.

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Lisa Hendey, Catholic wife and mom, is the founder and webmaster of and the author of A Book of Saints for Catholic Moms: 52 Companions for Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul and The Handbook for Catholic Moms: Nurturing Your Heart, Mind, Body and Soul. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and hosts the Catholic Moments Podcast. Visit her at

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  • Guest

    Welcome back, Lisa!  You were missed!