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Table Of Contents

How To Get Back To Work After Vacation: A Guide

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Table Of Contents

Getting back to work after vacation can be tough.

The office feels claustrophobic. The list of tasks waiting for you is way too long. Chatting with colleagues is even scarier than an awkward first date. How do you get your groove back and finally not spend all your time wishing that you were on a beach in Italy? We’ve got the answers.

Here’s a quick handy guide to help you get back to work after vacation.

Clean up your workspace (and your house!)

Whether you’re working from home or returning to the office, it’s important to tidy up your workspace.

Leaving in a rush or even the excitement of going on vacation can make you neglect simple things like having a clean home or room to come back to. You’ll be doing future you a huge favor by sorting these things before leaving!

Plan your return a day early

Most people come back from vacation the same day their work begins. Here’s your sign to not do that.

It can feel like you have the weight of the whole world on your shoulders if you come back and immediately start working. You were literally relaxing on vacation a few hours ago, and now you’re back on the grind — that’s bound to hurt.

Instead, come back a day earlier. This will help lessen the impact of your first day back at the office and help you get prepared for everything that’s to come. Furthermore, your body will thank you for it!

Ease your transition into the workplace

When you’re getting back to work after vacation, it can feel like no amount of preparation can help you catch up with all the work you left behind. So when you are back from vacation, take it easy and try not to schedule meetings during your first few days. This will give your body time to settle in.

Give yourself permission to work a bit more slowly at first and let your coworkers know that you need some time to regroup. If you attempt to rush through your work at the same breakneck pace as when you left, you may end up making mistakes and creating more work for yourself.

Make an action plan 

With so many tasks to complete, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. 

The instant your mind starts listing things to do, it’s like watching a dam break. Your brain will be unable to differentiate between priority levels if you try to handle all those in your head. In other words, everything will feel like it needs to be done right away! 

One of the best ways to get back to work after vacation is to create an action plan and highlight the tasks that need to get done on a priority basis. This will help you stay focused and get things done in an orderly manner.

Catch up on everything you missed

By everything, we mean everything.

You should familiarize yourself with anything your team worked on during your absence, including emails, tasks, lists, and deliverables. It can take a while to do so, but it’ll definitely pay off in the long run. You should get an overview of how things were while you were away so you can get up to speed and work accordingly.

Take care of yourself

If you’re suffering from a serious case of the post-holiday blues, you should take a step back and take a break to do something you like. I know, it sounds ironic considering you were just on vacation. But throwing yourself into work as soon as you’re back will probably end up backfiring and lead to burnout faster.

Take a break, go out for coffee, or go to a Happy Hour with your coworkers. The options are endless!

Set boundaries

How long do you usually stay at work the first few days after a vacation? Being on vacation doesn’t mean you have to put in more hours at work! Take it easy and make it a point to leave the office on time. Consider setting a timer or reminder to help you get out the door.

It’s important to set these boundaries as you get back to work after vacation.

Start planning your next vacation

Yes, you read that right.

Just because your vacation is over, doesn’t mean there is nothing left for you to look forward to! Planning your next getaway will give you the rush of excitement that comes from going on vacation, as well as motivate you to work harder. The souvenirs lying on your desk can serve as a constant reminder that good times are just on the horizon!

Snigdha Gupta
Snigdha Gupta

An avid writer and aspiring marketer, Snigdha is a student at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.

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