Going Back to Work After Vacation

I just got back from vacation, and there are so many emails!As the best vacation I could ever ask for was coming to an end, I realized that I would need to return to reality and head back to work soon. Just the thought of all the e-mails and updates that I had waiting for me back at the office was overwhelming, so I knew I had to put a plan in place. Here are my top six tips to make your transition back to work a smooth one:

  1. Take a vacation from your vacation: I knew that I would need an extra day, after returning home from vacation, to unwind, unpack, and tackle some of my to-do list. Instead of jumping right back to work, I took a day to get everything settled at home so that I wouldn’t be thinking about it at work (which of course would make tasks at work that much harder).
  2. Sort through e-mails: If possible, try to sort through your e-mails BEFORE your first day back at the office. You don’t necessarily need to read the e-mails; just do a quick sort to delete junk mail, organize e-mails from clients vs. co-workers, and filter out personal e-mails from friends and family. This way, when you get to the office, you won’t be so over-whelmed with hundreds of e-mails and not know where to start.
  3. Get organized: When you do return to the office, spend time organizing your work, based on priority, subjects, clients, etc., as well as organizing your work space and computer files. When you‘re organized, you will feel less overwhelmed and will have a better starting point to hit the ground running.
  4. You’re one person; be realistic: Trying to get everything done on your first day back may do more harm than help. Keep your first day back for catching up on past events, planning the remainder of the week, responding to e-mails and/or phone calls, and simply settling back into the swing of things.
  5. Reconnect with co-workers: Being able to talk about your vacation with your co-workers is surprisingly very beneficial for being more productive. When I got back to the office, I had so many stories that I wanted to tell, and keeping them to myself was making work extremely difficult. Once I was able to share my stories with my co-workers, catch up on what was happening in their lives, and reflect on the great times I had, I was able to find motivation to get my day going.
  6. Plan your next vacation: If you are anything like me, you need to have something to look forward to. Making plans for your next trip (or in my case, a wedding) will create excitement and anticipation that will liven up your attitude, and your work. After all, working is how you pay for your vacations!

It also helps to have an action plan before going on vacation, like Hannah covers in her blog post “Leaving the Office Behind – How to Prepare for Going on Vacation”. The transition back to work isn’t an easy one, but with the right plan, a bit of patience, and a dash of motivation, you’ll be back into your routine in no time. What other tips would you suggest for someone going back to work?