Jason Hietbrink

4 Keys You Need to Not Lose Momentum After a Vacation

4 Keys You Need to Not Lose Momentum After a Vacation

Have you ever left for a vacation and when you came back, you feel like you’re being punished for taking the time off?

That’s a stupid question. Of course you have. After all, you’re an entrepreneur. That’s part of what it means when you run a business, right? You can take time off whenever you choose and pay the price for doing so each time. Lovely.

We go on vacation because we want to take a break and relax but in reality, here’s how a vacation REALLY goes:

  • The week leading up to the vacation you’re stressing trying to get everything done before you leave


  • The first 2-3 days of vacation you’re trying to detox your brain from “work-mode” (that is, if you ever actually choose to shut off work while you’re gone!)


  • Maybe you get a day or two of actual vacation but before you know it, your brain reminds you to panic because in a couple days, you know what is waiting for you…


  • Trip home, flights were delayed, you get home late. No food in the fridge, laundry everywhere, house needs cleaned. Gotta get up early the next day.


  • The first 3 days back from vacation you’re pummeled with emails, voicemails, text messages, fires to put out, and the never-ending list of tasks that only continued to pile up while you were gone.


  • Motivation? Low. Paralyzed? You Betcha. Perfect photo of the amazing time you had posted to social media? Check! 😊

Consequently, often when we return from a vacation we are not fully rested or energized. In fact, sometimes we feel MORE filled with anxiety, stress, overwhelm, and frustration than when we left!! Geez. You need another vacation!

Is this the price we have to pay for running a business? Is there another way?

I have good news for you.

There IS a solution to this and it’s not as complicated as you probably think.

You CAN come back from vacation rested, refreshed, energized, motivated, and ready to hit the ground running again.

And it starts with recognizing this simple truth. You are not the problem here. The problem is you don’t have a strategy for re-entering work powerfully after a vacation.

You were set up for failure before it even began. Your current strategy for coming back from a vacation is what’s producing the results you’re getting.

Change your strategy, change your results.

Here are 4 Keys to Returning Powerfully from a Vacation So You Don’t Lose Momentum

#1 – If you’re going to take a vacation, take a vacation

Either take a vacation or don’t. If you’re on vacation, stop bringing work with you. You’re missing the whole point of why you’re there in the first place. These last 3 keys will help you do so and not feel the stress of needing to “get ahead with work” before you get back.

#2 – Set Yourself Up for Success Prior to Leaving

Having made that decision to truly take this time off, give yourself the permission to be unavailable not only while you’re gone, but also to be slow to return messages when you come back.

This bleeds into key #3, but I’d recommend having your autoresponders and voice mail set up to say that you’ll be out of town and unavailable an EXTRA day after the vacation is over.

I’d also mention in your voicemail and autoresponders specifically how you may not get back to them until 3-4 days after returning. This gives you permission to not feel the pressure to get back to people ASAP.

Talk to your staff too. Let them know how you take vacations, why, and that you expect the same from them.

#3 – Create a Landing Zone

After being gone, it’s normal to feel this need to jump right back in because we already feel SO far behind. Think of it this way though.

When professional athletes prepare to compete, they take some time to get warmed up and stretched out before they begin. If they don’t, they risk injury because their muscles are cold.

Why wouldn’t we need the same thing as an entrepreneur? Why wouldn’t we create some space to get our entrepreneurial muscles warmed up again after not using them for a week or two while we were gone?

What you need is a “Landing Zone” – give yourself a day to recalibrate when you get back.

Schedule NOTHING on the calendar that first full day you’re back. Don’t have meetings with clients, prospects, or team members. You need this day to get yourself centered again.

Centered on your purpose, back in the right mindset, a day to get life and business back in order; and to get clear on what the most important priorities to focus your energy and time on for the next few days.

If you don’t, you’ll be operating AT BEST around 50% of your capacity. Your mindset, sense of purpose, focus, clarity, passion, energy won’t be where they need to be to powerfully re-engage with clients, your staff, your leaders, or potential future customers.

Your choice. You can operate at 50% for multiple days and be stressed out or you can take a day to set yourself up for operating at your best for the remainder of the week (and reduce your stress at the same time).

#4 – Your Inbox, Texts, and Voicemails are NOT Your Priority

Don’t play whack-a-mole when you get back in town trying to see how much you can barrel through in a day; answering texts, emails, and returning voicemails in the order in which they were received.

That’s what secretaries do. You are not a secretary. You are a leader. You’re the owner. And your team and your business need you to LEAD, not to respond to what’s there.

You set the pace; you make decisions based upon what is important not based upon what seems to be the most urgent.

I know it feels incredibly counter-intuitive but do NOT respond to emails, voicemails, or texts first thing when you get back. I promise you, they can wait. You have weightier matters to attend to and that starts with getting clear on your priorities.

Make a plan for what the most important projects are for the week regardless of what popped up while you were gone, carve out time in your calendar for those priorities first, then see what else you might take care of based upon what was in your inbox, voicemail, or texts.


We didn’t get into business to be punished for taking vacations. But sometimes it can feel like that’s our only choice. I’m here to tell you that when it comes to powerfully re-engaging after a vacation, you are NOT the problem, your strategy is.

Create a strategy that takes into account how you will leave and how you will come back and watch your effectiveness, energy, motivation increase while your stress decreases!

Step 3

Level Up

If we decide to move forward into a coaching relationship, Together, we’ll create a custom coaching plan to help you reach your goals in your business and your life. 

Step 2

Schedule a Breakthrough Session

We’ll do a free, 90-minute coaching call to define your goals, set a vision for the future, and deepen your commitment to that vision.