Back to work

The best way to beat the back to work blues is to never go on holiday!

I don’t know about you but I like my holidays, sleeping late, playing too much golf (not possible) and just chilling at the beach.  So we are heading back to work here are a few ideas on how to survive the first couple of weeks as we get back into action.

Take a Buffer Day

First things first: Don’t go straight back to work after your holiday. It’d be wise to give yourself a buffer day or two to settle back into the groove of things. You’ll want a day to relax and recuperate from, well, relaxing and recuperating. Take the day to catch up on sleep (especially if you have been camping and the camp bed is just not as good as that 5 star hotel), unpack your bags, do your laundry, grocery shop, prep your meals for the week and get your life in order before the workweek takes over. The point is to give your mind time to adjust while also tackling what you can at home to prepare yourself for diving back into your usual routines.

Plan your return

Most people focus on getting organized for departure, perhaps maximizing their time away, and then come home just the day before work begins. Consider instead to come back one or two days before your job begins and get a more quit, uninterrupted jump on email. It can lessen the impact of that first day back at the office.

Make a list

Create a list of items that must get done on your first days back. When you’re struggling to focus and don’t know where to even start, this is a great way to stay on track and accomplish the bare minimum. And try prioritizing your tasks.  Don’t try to tackle everything you missed while you were gone all at once and if possible don’t plan any big meetings or set any major deadlines. Just try to get through the tasks at hand, talk to your co-workers to find out what you missed, and then progressively go through your priorities. Work thoughtfully and by the end of the week, you’ll feel caught up and less stressed.

Build-in some transition time

If possible, do not schedule meetings during your first days back, you need time to prepare and get ready. Don’t try to tackle everything you missed while you were gone all at once and if possible don’t plan any big meetings or set any major deadlines. Just try to get through the tasks at hand, talk to your co-workers to find out what you missed, and then progressively go through your priorities. Work thoughtfully and by the end of the week, you’ll feel caught up and less stressed.

Keep the holiday vibe alive

Perhaps take a walk in a nearby park (barefoot!) during lunch or eat lunch outside with your co-workers. Or plan a barbeque or meet a friend for a drink after work. If you traveled during your vacation, bring something back that you can put at your workstation. A photograph, picture frame, or ornament can help create a more harmonious work environment by giving you something to look at when you’re feeling stressed and bring you back to a calmer state of mind. It creates a harmonious work environment and has been shown to relieve work pressure. But, make sure your souvenir is appropriate for the office. Not everybody wants to see the wild pictures from your Miami vacation!

Get Caught Up

Now that you’ve told some colleagues that you’re working on catching up, you’ll need to actually catch up. Before take too deep of a dive into all of your emails and projects waiting on your desk, talk to your coworkers, your boss, your clients, and catch up. Try to get a broad sense of what went down while you were off the radar. Having a general idea of where projects or campaigns or duties stand at the current moment will help you better prioritize your to-do list when you start diving back in a little deeper.

Purge Your Inbox

You should have a better idea of what’s going on around the office at this point. And so it’s about time you tackle your inbox that’s probably inundated with spam, threads you were unnecessarily CC’d on, junk mail, and more anxiety-inducing emails that really serve you no purpose. Do yourself a favor and don’t actually open or even wade through all of them. Instead of checking them out in chronological order, it might make more sense to sort your emails by sender now that you’ve talked to your boss and colleagues and have a general idea of what and who are particularly important right then. For anything that doesn’t need to be opened, simply “select all” and delete them to get rid of the clutter. Purge that inbox, and then dig your way out of the rest of the pile by responding to what’s most critical first.

Take a Breath

Whatever you do, cut yourself some slack. You’re going to have a lot to do; it’s inevitable, and it’s why many of us don’t take vacations in the first place. Accept the workload and take it one day at a time. Remember to breathe, practice self-care routines, and keep your chin up.

 

A positive attitude

Focus on the positive and avoid the negative. We need to feel motivated and that we have a purpose at our jobs. Try to formulate your purpose. Thinking about the friends you have and other reasons you enjoy your job will help make coming back to work a breeze. Studies show your mental health and state of mind can have a significant effect on your work life. Those who have a positive and optimistic attitude deal with fewer work-related problems, are more energetic and generally feel more peaceful and calm.

 

One final idea is to have some fun. We spend so much time at work whether you are a leader or a team member a fun environment is also a productive environment

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