Anyone who has ever experienced the ‘back to business blues’ knows how you can struggle to get back to work after vacation. Getting up early, going to work, and being productive is much more difficult after you’ve had a nice time someplace else, where the last thing on your mind was your work. For days you have been pushing the thought of the rising pile of papers on your desk back at the office out of your mind and spending every minute on the beach, but now it’s time to go back to your old life.
Prepare in advance
It’s easy not to get back to work straight away, so it’s wise to mentally prepare for what lays ahead. Start making a to-do list as the day of return approaches, and start thinking about the things that need to be taken care of. Also, prepare your departure well, think about coming back on Saturday instead of Sunday because that will give you a day to get back together before hitting the desk. Let that day be your day off, watch your favorite TV shows, or finish that book you didn’t have time to read at the beach.
The early bird
Being the early bird may not be the way you work, but after a vacation, it is wise to get to the office earlier than usual. You know that you will have a lot of work to do, and if you don’t finish by the end of the work time, you will probably stress over it at home. Quiet time before your coworkers start arriving, taking their coffee, and chatting will give you an opportunity to catch up on the things you missed while you were away.
You will probably find a huge pile of mail, papers, contracts, and personal letters that need to be sorted out. On the day of your return to the office you should not schedule any meetings outside, but in the office instead. Team meetings, paperwork, reports, voice messages, and a bunch of unanswered emails will wait for you and take not only your morning but probably the entire day. Declutter the piles, filter junk from important info and start getting back to our old routine by answering messages and emails.
Even if you are an expert in multitasking, there is no way you will be able to successfully do three different things at once. Stay focused and do one thing at a time; perhaps your mind is still wandering that lovely beach you visited a couple of days before. By focusing on one thing at a time you will avoid stressing yourself too much and keep a steady pace for as long as you need. As time passes, after a few days you will be ready to get into your old routine of simultaneously doing two or more things.
Don’t push yourself
The first day back at the office will probably drain you both emotionally and physically, but you shouldn’t continue working when you get home. Instead, take some time to relax a bit, schedule a fun activity with your friends, or watch your favorite movie. This will give you the energy to face the challenges of the following day more easily; just try not to stay up too late, the following morning will be stressful enough even without a headache and sleep deprivation.
As difficult as it may be to force yourself to go back to your old habits at first, you can even make it worse if you try to do everything at once and forget about that ‘transitional period’ we all need. Your work needs 100% of you, so it’s wise to prepare yourself to give that. Several small things in succession can do a lot in the end, and your productivity and efficiency will increase sooner.