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A Post about Post-Vacation Blues: How to Quickly Get Back into Work Mode

A Post about Post-Vacation Blues: How to Quickly Get Back into Work Mode

By Pat Flynn on

Before I get into this post, I’d like to make it clear that this is a re-published post. The first part of the post will be new content about my recent vacation in 2016, and the second part will about my post-vacation blues in 2013.

The reason I am pitting the two up against each other is this:

I want you to get a sense of the type of business owner I was then, back in 2013, and the type of business owner I am now. It’s pretty fascinating to see the change and growth I’ve made in my business and life, from my organizational skills to my personal discipline.

And, I think you can get a lot out of comparing the two experiences. A sort of what to do, and what not to do for your own post-vacation self!

In 2013, after my vacation, I experienced a bout of post-vacation blues. In 2016, after my vacation, I didn’t.

Here’s why.

My 2016 Australia Vacation

As many people know, I recently came back from an amazing family vacation in Australia. And, you know what?

I came back more fired up than ever.

When I was in Australia, it was almost the new year, and I couldn’t stop thinking about 2017 and the projects I had already started to plan, from Smart from Scratch, to my second book, and even my fitness and health goals.

Knowing those tasks and goals were already laid out on the other side of my vacation was a huge help. It inspired me to, after a day of jet lag, get right into things. I also knew what my first steps were going to be, which was really important.

The last thing you want to do is start a new block of time (i.e. after a vacation), and say to yourself, “Okay, now what do I do?”

My goal this year has been to get rid of those moments, from the big moments, like after a vacation, to the small moments, like when I go into Monday knowing it’s my writing day. On those Mondays, as an example, the Google Doc is there and open, ready for me to start writing, sometimes with information or relevant comments in there from my team to help me get started.

Beautiful day from our AirBnB in Brisbane, Australia! Happy Summer Holiday! ? #familytime?

A video posted by Pat Flynn (@patflynn) on


Our family and cousins at the Brisbane train station.


Christmas day in our Airbnb! We brought stockings and small gifts from home to hang to make it feel more like home 🙂


A cool exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art!

As you can see, we had fun in Australia! But not only was I able to have fun, I was able to feel good about taking that time off from work because I had planned ahead to make sure everything was in order when I returned.

That’s the big difference between my 2016 Australia post-vacation experience and my 2013 Disney Cruise post-vacation experience. In 2013, I wasn’t prepared for what was to come.

Here’s my post after I returned from vacation in 2013.

My 2013 Disney Cruise Vacation

I just got back from an AMAZING vacation with my family that we’ve been planning for over a year: a 7-Day Disney Cruise to the Caribbean preceded by a day exploring Universal Islands of Adventures, where the new attraction, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter lives.

My wife and I are both Disney freaks and fans of Harry Potter, so it was definitely a vacation we could all enjoy!

Here are some pictures:

Disney Cruise 1

Disney Cruise 2

Disney Cruise 3

Disney Cruise 4

As I was planning this trip and making sure all of the details were taken care of—from passports to having the iPad charged for the long plane ride—there was one thing that was worrying me the most.

No, it wasn’t pirates taking over the ship (although Captain Hook did take over the ship for ten minutes during one of the deck shows). What worried me was wondering if the same thing would happen after this trip that happens after almost all of the vacations I’ve taken in the past: difficulty getting back into work mode.

Some people call it the post-vacation blues, and it’s a very real thing.

Getting back into the routine can seem like the toughest thing in the world to do, especially after a good vacation of rest and relaxation, but you’ve got to give yourself the best chance to get back into the thick of things. When earning a passive income, business can continue to run like normal, both during the vacation and for some time after, but eventually you’ll want to get back in the right mindset to be productive again, which is hard.

This was a topic I brought up in one of my mastermind groups a couple of days before I left for vacation, and I learned a few important things:

  1. You should expect post-vacation blues to happen. It’s almost impossible to avoid, and getting back into work mode on day one after you return is not something you should expect to do.
  2. A vacation may be X days long, but you should expect “time off” to be X + a few more days to get back into things. It could be one day, or several days depending on your needs and your ability to shift from vacation to work mode, but you should plan for time off that’s longer than your vacation.
  3. Before you go on vacation, leave yourself something exciting, but not too daunting, for after you get back. Small wins and just getting started can go a long way to get you back on track.

Regarding number three, I made a huge mistake when I left for a different trip in August—a three-day bachelor party that I planned for my best friend.

What was the huge mistake?

I didn’t write any posts ahead of time, and I knew that when I got back it was time for me to write my July 2013 Monthly Income Report, which was my first six-figure month, and one that I knew was going to take a while since it addressed the income coming from my newly launched course, Breakthrough Blogging.

I could have written it before I left, but instead I gave it to “future Pat,” which was not a good decision. The post took four to five times longer to write, which is why it was published on August 14, instead of earlier in the month like it was supposed to.

Before the most recent vacation, I scheduled two different podcast sessions to go live while I was out, and left myself with a fun article about Post-Vacation Blues to write after I got back. Much easier to do, and I know that after I hit the publish button, I’ll be back into work mode like I had never left—or at least very close.

I asked my friends on Twitter what they do to get rid of post-vacation blues, and got some very good answers I’d like to share:

Great responses! But, as you can see, everyone has their own different methods for getting out of post-vacation blues. So thing brings me to you:

How do YOU get out of post-vacation blues and quickly back into work mode? I’d love to hear your response in the comment section below!

I look forward to reading your answers. 🙂

Cheers, it’s great to be back, and I hope all is well!

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