Muddling Mondays

You have returned to work on Monday after making a presentation at a trade show and a 4-to- 12 hour flight back home.

After making a presentation at a trade show or other event and a long flight back home the body, mind and spirit are going to take time to recover, whether it is convenient for you or not. Your objective on returning back to work is to muddle through the day without making any major mistakes, or in more direct language, without fucking up too badly.

At work: Avoid immediate commitments

• Retire to the quietest place you can find
• Sort through your materials that you collected on your trip
• Locate any reports that you may have started at the event
• Review your card contact lists
• Promise a written report on Wednesday
• Triple check anything you that you must send out and have someone else look over it
• Start immediate treatment of any bugs that you might have picked up
• Delegate ordinary duties to others as much as possible
• Organize receipts for your expense report

On the home front

• If fortunate enough to have a spouse, ask her to get your clothes ready for your next trip
• Do what you absolutely must in the way of mowing lawn, shoveling snow or taking care of other seasonal yard tasks
• Make appointments to see about non-working appliances
• Give your children and spouse something from your trip
• Try to resume intimate relations with your significant other on Tuesday or later in the week
• Pay attention to your pets
• Try to do a little with your kids
• Bill paying which would usually be done on the weekend should be put off until Wednesday
• Grab a half-hour of quiet relaxation when you can
• Resume standard weekly family activities

The general focus on your Muddling Mondays is to get through the day as well as you can manage under the circumstances. Fatigue makes morons of us all. If you try to push yourself to work while you are physically and mentally exhausted and your body is also trying to fight off the latest infectious diseases, the odds of your making some regrettable mistake are very high. These will not be your best days, and your task is not to make them your worst.

Psychologically it is very easy in this condition to engage in potentially hurtful lash-out outbursts that might be triggered by any number of unforeseeable events. Under such conditions of fatigue and stress you are not the same person. Should you have one of these unexpected events, immediately apologize and make amends – regardless if this was at your spouse, boss, employee, pet or taxi driver. A day’s rest at home, particularly after a long international flight that might be 12-30 hours long will not be completely restorative, but certainly will result in better job performance once you return to work. If such a trip is planned, budget for a recovery day or days before you get back into the full swing of everyday home and business life.

Age, experience and repeated activities can ease these fatigue factors somewhat. First class seating can do much towards reducing your bodily discomforts, but that extra cost is often not in the budget. A neck brace can also help you catch some sleep from time to time. Alcohol will increase your bathroom trips and generally does not do too much as a sleep aid. Provide yourself with what creature comforts that your seating will allow, and if these trips become frequent you may develop a pre-trip preparation scheme that will make your flight more pleasant. One unusual feature offered at some oriental airports is a foot massage that I can recommend. Other airports have sleep pods where you can get some sleep during long layovers.

Many such tips are contained in my newest business book, Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife. In the book I advocate that a person start many businesses as and when they are needed to raise immediate cash and plan for medium and long-term goals. Such activities are focused on discovering a “business of passion” that can sustain you throughout the remainder of your life doing work that you love to do. The book may be purchased in either softcover or e-book format at and many other sources.

Author's Bio: 

Wm. Hovey Smith is a registered Professional Geologist in Georgia. He is or has been a member of several writers’ organizations including the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA) and the Georgia Outdoor Writers Association (GOWA). He is the author of 18 books with his most recent title being “Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife.” He has been a radio host and does public speaking on work and environmental topics with appearances in the U.S., Europe and China. He is an active blogger and the producer of over 725 YouTube videos on outdoor and business topics.