5 keys to getting back to work after vacation

One day it’s piña coladas on a white-sand beach; the next day it’s a three-hour meeting, and you have a budget to present. Don’t kill your vacation buzz. Try these steps.


You’ve spent a week or two on a sun-drenched resort, eating and drinking to your heart’s content, but then the time comes to return to work and face reality.

Getting back into the swing of things after time off is never easy, but there are ways you can make the transition smooth and painless:

1. Give yourself an extra day.

Though most people want to use every last minute of their vacation time on the trip itself, it’s better to give yourself a day or so at home after your sojourn to get your head back in the game.

Rather than coming home Sunday night and going straight to work Monday morning, consider taking an extra day off or getting a Sunday morning flight so there’s no big rush once you get home.

Giving yourself time to unpack, unwind and recover from jet lag will help you return to work fresh and prepared.

2. Plan your return.

Before we go on vacation, most of us make sure that everything is organized and sorted for when we leave—tasks completed, handoffs passed along and out-of-office replies turned on—but what about when we get back?

Make sure you keep your first day back free to catch up on everything you’ve missed. Avoid booking meetings for that day, as they will disrupt your transition and keep you from getting back on top of things.

Also, make sure you haven’t left any urgent tasks for your first day back. You don’t want to return from a relaxing vacation knowing you have to scramble to put together a presentation or complete an extensive report.

3. Make a list.

When you’ve been away from the office for a couple of weeks, it can be easy to forget some of your regular tasks.

If this is the case, when you get back, make a list of pending tasks in order of priority. This will help you to manage your workload, as well as motivating you every time you check something off the list.

4. Take regular breaks.

If you’ve been away on holiday, you probably won’t have spent much time looking at a computer screen, so it’s important to allow your eyes to readjust to focusing on a screen for extended periods of time.

Give yourself regular breaks away from your screen; you don’t want to strain your eyes on your first week back and possibly cause damage.

Bathroom breaks, making tea or coffee, or talking to colleagues face to face rather via email are all good ways to break up the day.

5. Book another holiday.

When you come back from having time off, you’ll probably suffer from post-vacation blues, but it’s important to keep your morale high.

One way to do this is to book another getaway. Whether if it’s just a short stay-cation or a big splash a year from now, having something to look forward to will keep you motivated and happy.

So, there we go—some tips for returning to work after a nice, relaxing break.

Do you agree with these tips or have others of your own? Please let us know in the comments section.

Lauren Riley is social media marketing manager for Bubble Jobs. A version of this article first appeared on the Bubble Jobs blog.

COMMENT

Ragan.com Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive the latest articles from Ragan.com directly in your inbox.