What I Learned Yesterday: Rounds Before Inbox When Returning from Vacation

Whether you've managed to completely unplug during a vacation, or just tried to monitor the messages that jumped out to you as important, odds are you will be staring at at least a three-digit number next to your inbox when you return.

Some of those emails can certainly be deleted unread.  There will be building announcements, cars with their lights left on, etc.  After that, however, it can be tough to know where to start or what messages have been handled and no longer need your attention.

That's why I start my first morning back with quick face-to-face conversations with key stakeholders and anyone likely to have been in the mix of priority work while I was out.  Not only does this help to recharge those relationships after a break, but I also get first-hand updates on the previous week and my agenda for what's important that first morning.  As a bonus, I get a solid idea of which emails are still outstanding and which can be quickly filed as complete.

A quick glance at the project list or a report of tasks due the previous and upcoming week will help identify who needs visited first.