Going back to work after a vacation can be a drag. Your voicemail is full, you’ve got a heaping pile of documents on your desk, and you haven’t even started on your e-mail. And forget the fact that you are still in lounge mode and it’s hard to bounce back into your work schedule. But with a few preparations and things you can do when you get back, the whole process can be less painful. Here is how to deal with going back to work after vacation:
1) Make a plan before you leave
Before you take off for your trip, put together a list of priorities for when you get back. Delegate what you can to others and turn off your out of office message on your voicemail and e-mail, so everyone knows you are away. This will cut down on the emails and voicemails you receive while you are gone.
2) Clean up your desk and home
Though you can’t control what will appear while you are gone, clean up all the paperwork on your desk and work and organize your e-mail and calendar. Also tidy up at home. That way you will feel less frazzled when you return home.
3) Consider checking in if necessary
While you want to make sure your vacation remains a vacation, one of the helpful ways to deal with going back to work after vacation is checking your work e-mail every couple of days or so and addressing things that are truly important. It’s up to you, but if you choose to do this make sure you set strict limits and set no more than an hour aside on the days you do it. Then unplug the rest of the time.
3) Share vacation details with co-workers
To let your vacation continue to live on inside of you, reminisce about it with your co-workers. Show them pictures and souvenirs or share goodies from your trip. Also ask co-workers about their vacations or where they want to go on vacation. This will cut down the tension in the office and make your day easier.
4) Give yourself an extra day
Another one of the ways to deal with going back to work after vacation is giving yourself and extra day to regroup after you get back. This will give you time to get back to reality, take care of any laundry or errands that need to be done and get some rest. You can also check your work calendar, so you will know what you can expect on your first day back and find out if you need to reschedule anything.
5) Wear headphones
To help you focus on your first day back, put on some relaxing music (maybe some tunes from your vacation) and start chipping away at what you need to catch up on. This will keep you from being distracted and keep your co-workers from interrupting you unless it is absolutely necessary.
6) Get some exercise
Don’t push yourself too hard, but to help you detox from traveling and lower your anxiety, getting some light exercise is a great way to deal with going back to work after vacation. Take a walk on your lunch break or hit a yoga class.
Author: Jessica Cody
Jessica Cody, a native of Fairfield County, Connecticut, has a background in online marketing and public relations. Currently, she works at VHMNetwork LLC in the role of Marketing Analyst. She is a graduate of the University of Connecticut, where she studied Journalism and Political Science. She is also an avid runner with a passion for the outdoors.