Jobhop Jobhop's blog : 10 Tips to Ease Yourself Back into Work After a Holiday
As much as we all need a holiday, the week or so after being able often leaves us wondering whether the joy of a holiday is worth the pain of returning to work.
Between the pain of readjustment, the email backlog, and the fight to fit back into your suit after two weeks of eating all-inclusive food, you may feel like you need another holiday just to recover from the stress of getting back into a routine,
With a little bit of pre-holiday planning and a strategic plan for your first couple of days back, hopefully, you're able to accomplish a smooth exit and re-entry.
Today we're sharing our top ten tips so you're able to easily resume your working days...
1. Set up your out of office email and voicemail messages before you leave
Out of office responders are quite literally lifesavers. They notify people that you're not at work, so when you return from your holiday, you won't be overwhelmed with angry emails. Be sure to clearly state how long you'll be out of the office and leave an alternate contact to call with urgent matters.
2. Create a to-do list before you go
On this list, add things that you know need to be done when you return. As you're writing the list, things may come up that have a deadline before you return. If any of these do come up, ask for help from your colleagues or manager. Don't just assume the tasks will wait because you're out of the office.
3. Prioritise the things that won't wait until your return
You may be sipping Sangria in Barcelona this time next week, but client cases still need to be moved along, reports delivered and deadlines met. Make sure you're clear on who else is responsible for covering each of the urgent tasks. Give your colleagues an overview of the deadline, and make sure that they have all the information to complete the work effective and efficiently. I would also recommend briefing your boss or manager on who is responsible for each task so that they don't have to scramble to make sure all of the important tasks are covered.
4. Give yourself a buffer day
If possible, try and give yourself a buffer day in between your return home and going back to work after your holiday. It may seem a bit unreasonable to use one of your precious holiday days for simply being at home, but strategically it will give you the time and space to get back to normal with only minimal pressure. The extra day can be used for catching up on the washing, food shopping and meal planning for the week, and napping to recover from the jet lag. Taking care of these tasks can make you re-entry to work way smoother.
5. Get a good night's sleep
The last thing you want to do is feel anxious due to your work load being so overwhelming. Make sure you get a good night's sleep so you wake up feeling refreshed before heading into work. If you're having trouble getting to sleep, grab a cuppa or do some meditating to try and slow things down. It can take a while to get back into it, but with time and patience, it's easily done.
6. Strategize your tasks
Try to strategize your first few days back by doing tasks that you can quickly tick off your to-do list. This way, you start feeling good about how much you're accomplishing in a short period of time, and you'll be more mentally prepared for some heavier stuff later on. Whether you decide to tackle the hardest or the easiest tasks first, try and stick to a routine that works for you, so you don't feel like you've wasted your first day back.
7. Don't try to tackle all your work at once
Obviously, there is going to be a lot to do, but you won't be able to do it all on the first day back. Map out a couple of things you must get done on each day and you'll feel much better than trying to get everything done on your first day back. Rather than risking feeling overwhelmed with your workload, take one step at a time with your tasks. Also, make sure you don't schedule your meetings for your first day back in the office; you may just go crazy and end up running away from all your responsibilities.
8. Keep your out of office message on for an extra day
If you've already set up an out of office reply before leaving, it will probably make sense to leave it on for an extra day or two, just to give you a little head start for the working week. The people in the office obviously know you're back at work, but there is no real reason for the whole world to know that just yet. That additional day will give you plenty of time to...
9. Clean & prioritise your inbox
Even though you probably want to pull your hair out while you're trying to respond to all your emails, try and figure out a system to answer the most important ones first and then return to the other ones later. Start with the emails sent right after you left for your holiday and end with those most recently received. This way you're able to track responses or updates to topics or issues that may have already mean settled in the time that you were away.
10. Schedule something fun for after work
Your first day back at work is going to be pretty tough, there is no denying it. But in order to ease the sting a little, try and make sure you've got something to look forward to that evening so you won't fall into the post-holiday depression. Plan to go to the pub and catch up with some friends or organise a treat yo'self night with a takeaway and new episode of your favourite Netflix series. Don't go flicking through those holiday snaps and wishing you were still there, that's just a recipe for disaster.
So basically, the secret to keeping your sanity upon returning from a holiday is a combination of smart preparation and strategic prioritising upon return. No matter how urgent the task and how high the pressure, make sure you try and leave the office on time. Being away doesn't automatically mean that you must put in extra hours as punishment! Make sure you schedule in time to relax and do the things you enjoy. That way, the benefit of some time away will stay with you longer.
Which of these tips will you try? Let us know over on Twitter if you have any back to work transition tips!
In: Kyria Bush Jobhop.co.uk
Kyria Bush Jobhop.co.uk