After hanging by the shore and soaking in the sun, the last thing you want to think about is work. But as much as you would like your vacation to last forever, it’s time to come back to reality and figure out ways to get back to work after your vacation. Ideally, before you head out to your vacation, you want to make sure everything is good to go: you’ve communicated with everyone, turned on your OOO (out-of-office) responder, and tied up any loose ends from projects or assignments. While those things are important, it’s just as vital to set up a plan for when you return.
According to POPSUGAR, during the first couple of days back in the office, it’s best to rekindle with old tasks first and catch up with what you’ve missed. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, tackle newer assignments on a later date when you feel a little bit more prepared and settled. Even if you’re a type-A person, it can be easy to feel mentally exhausted from the pile of work that you’ve returned to. But as long as you take your time, conquer one thing at a time, and schedule yourself some breaks in between, you can slowly return into your work routine sooner than you think. About to head out on vacation and want to know what you need to do after you return? Here are 11 tips to help you settle back into your job after your vacation.
1. Return One Day Early
While you might want that extra day to hang out by the beach, it might be a better idea to return one day earlier to get situated before you head back into the office. According to Fast Company, author of I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time Laura Vanderkam said, “If you’re going away for a week (or two!), there’s a lot to be said for returning Saturday instead of Sunday. Not only do you get a chance to unpack, catch up on the laundry, and sleep off jet-lag, you can do a few hours of work on Sunday night.”
2. Resume Your Routine
It can be hard to get back into the routine of things when you first return to work. After a day or so, your natural work rhythm can fall back into place and you can start to feel productive again. “Feeling productive is all about getting back in the groove. Have your morning coffee and enjoy your lunch away from your desk. These simple things will help make the transition back a lot more enjoyable,” says Wensel.
3. Clean & Prioritize Your Inbox
Even though you want to pull your hair out while you’re trying to answer all of your emails, figure out a system to answer the most important ones first and then return to the others later. “Resist the urge to read and respond. You may return to 200 emails, but not all of them will require responses. Start with the emails sent right after you left for vacation and end with those most recently received. That way you’ll track responses or updates to topics or issues that may have already been settled in the time you were gone,” says Wensel.
4. Create A To-Do List
“These are things that you know need to get done when you return. As you’re making the list, things may come up that have to be done before you return. Identify these and ask for help from your teammates or manager. Don’t just assume they can wait because you’ll be out,” says Wensel. If you really want to be an overachiever (of course you do), try creating your to-do list the day before you head into the office. It can organize your thoughts and make you feel more prepared when you go to work.
5. Schedule Contingency Time In Your Schedule
Don’t feel guilty if you want a little break every now and then. Let your mind adjust back to reality by scheduling a few breaks on your calendar so no one bothers you. “Make sure to schedule contingency time in your schedule to act as a buffer for the unexpected that first week back too,” says career & business coach Rachel Ritlop in an interview with Bustle over email.