By Nicole Tinkham
Have you ever gone away on vacation or even took a long weekend away from the office and had trouble getting back in the swing of things? Trust us, you’re not alone. Most of our year is spent waking up earlier than we ever really should (in our opinion, anyway), taking the same busy route to the office, sitting down in the same cubicle, greeting the same co-workers, drinking out of the same coffee mug, and doing the same or similar busywork every single day. We don’t even realize we’re in this cycle until something disrupts the habit like a nice long vacation. Even just a few extra days tacked onto the weekend can leave you feeling like you forgot how to do your most basic job duties like responding to an email.
Vacation can make us feel one of two ways when returning to the office. There’s a chance you go in feeling refreshed, awake, energized and ready to jump right back in which would be ideal. But more commonly, you’re still in vacation mode and can’t get motivated whatsoever to tackle the emails and other duties that piled up while you were away. If this is you, we have the tips you need to survive your first day back at work after vacation.
1. Include a buffer day
Ideally, it’s great to spend as much time away on vacation as you possibly can. But, heading to the office immediately after you get back (especially if it’s the night before) can leave you stressed and overwhelmed. Consider arriving home on Saturday instead or take an additional Monday off so you have an extra day to unpack and get settled back into everyday life. Be sure to take it easy and if you can, start sorting through your email to get a head start on your first day back to the office. It doesn’t hurt to wake up and hit the hay early on your extra day either to get back into your normal sleep schedule.
Remember to prepare for your departure too so you have an easier adjustment back to office life. Click here for some things you need to be doing before you leave.
2. Get focused
There’s no doubt that you have a ton on your plate after some time off. Your inbox is full, there are projects that need to be started, and important meetings that you’ve missed. Instead of scheduling numerous meetings on your first day back to catch up, take a day or two to focus on the important things first. Manage your tasks one at a time and avoid interruptions at all cost! Making a to-do list is great for this. Circle the top 3 things on your list that you absolutely must get done right away and make them the priority until they are complete.
TIP: If you have an out of office email going out to coworkers, feel free to leave it on until you get caught up. They know you’re back in the office and where to reach you if they really need you.
3. Have some fun
We’re going out on a limb and saying you probably had the time of your life while on vacation. Just because it’s now over doesn’t mean you have to be miserable until the next vacation comes up. There are many things you can do to keep that positivity alive. You can tell stories about your vacation, share food or something special you got while there, start planning your next vacation, go out to lunch, listen to music while you work, or plan something fun to do on the weekends. Strive to have fun all year, not just while away!
We know your vacation probably rocked and to be honest, these three tips aren’t going to make up for the fact that it’s officially over. You may still be a little bummed when returning to the office but these tips will definitely make the transition easier. After the first week, you should be back in your groove and ready to roll!
Let us know your tips! How do you cope with office life after a really amazing vacation? Leave a comment in the box below 🙂