Tips for easing back into routine after the holiday season
Returning to the office after a nice, relaxing break is never easy – in fact, many people find it completely overwhelming and well, downright sad. After endless days of sleeping in, soaking up the sun on the beach and unashamedly binge-watching series, you’re suddenly hit by the realisation that it’s time to get back to work.
Making the transition from vacay bliss to “back-to-work reality” can be a tough one, especially when all the stresses you left behind come back into focus. That’s why we’ve devised this nifty list of tips for how you can slide more comfortably back into work mode after some much-needed time off - now take a deep breath and read on.
Get in a little earlier
If you’re able to, consider getting into the office a little earlier than usual. This will give you some “quiet time” before the masses arrive and it will allow you to settle in at your own pace before being bombarded with holiday chatter and people asking you to do things. This little bit of breathing space will let you get your head in the game as well as tidy up and organise yourself so that you can tackle everything more efficiently.
Prioritise with a to-do list
It’s really easy to get overwhelmed and panicked when you feel like there’s a ton of things to do but no clear place to start - this is why a to-do list is vital. It can help bring order to the chaos and provide some direction for how to proceed. The tasks that need to be dealt with first should be at the top of your list making it easier for you to identify those things that require your immediate attention. Being able to cross items off your list as they get completed will give you a sense of accomplishment and control as you ease back into work mode.
Be methodical when it comes to emails
With a bulging inbox greeting upon your return it’s no wonder that so many people want to never go back. The best way to approach this is to start by sorting through all your emails, dividing them into three groups:
- Those to be answered later
- Those to be answered ASAP
- Those that can be deleted immediately.
While you do this, consider leaving your Out of Office on – it will give you a little more time to get sorted before the usual interruptions that invariably come with people knowing that you’re back. Delete all those emails you don’t need and then get to answering those that require an immediate response. Work systematically through them and we promise things won’t seem all that bad.
Get reacquainted with your projects
Part of getting up to date with things is reacquainting yourself with your currently running projects. Chances are that while you were away someone else took over from you, or even better, the project was paused while the office was closed. Now it’s time either to see what transpired while you were away or refresh your memory about all the details involved. Getting back on track means familiarising yourself with the tasks at hand so that you can power on.
Take it slow and cut yourself some slack
Returning to work is a shock to the system all on its own, so the last thing you want is to overload yourself on Day One. Try and avoid taking on any new tasks initially and rather focus on your normal duties. You’re likely to be more efficient if you take on one thing at a time – having too much on your plate straight away can cause everything to come crashing down. It’s important to remember that the transition period can take a few days which means that you have to give yourself some time to readjust, so be kind to yourself, stay calm and don’t push yourself too soon.
“All good things come to an end”, and this is true of holidays as well. Returning to work is unfortunately unavoidable but with these tips returning to the grind doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. Happy 2016 – here’s to a successful and exciting year ahead.
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