Mid way through the summer and the warmer weather also calls for vacation! Going on vacation and having a few days off is always an exciting time. You can go someplace new and unwind without the stressors of daily life.
Although taking a few days off for vacation sounds amazing, returning to work after a vacation can be daunting, whether you were only gone for a few days or you took an extended trip. Regardless if you went out of town or you simply use your off days to stay at home and decompress, the first day back at work after some time off can be a little rough. Here are some tips for productivity and so that you can make the transition back a little less difficult.
Before you leave:
- Make a list of projects and/or assignments.
- Make sure your area is organized – get rid of unnecessary clutter and organize your desk/cubicle drawers.
- Delegate tasks to others. Give some tasks that you might normally do to other people. This will help so that your responsibilities aren’t totally being neglected while you’re gone, and you don’t feel as swamped when you come back.
- Let your co-workers know that you’ll be gone and when you’ll be back. Even though you may have let your supervisor know and you formally requested the time off, your coworkers might not be aware. Let them know so that they can coordinate with you.
- Do extra work before you leave. If you do more assignments before you leave, you can get ahead so that when you get back, you can have a somewhat light workload for the first few days back.
- Turn on auto-response messages on your e-mail informing people that you will not be in the office. Set your voicemail to explain that you are on vacation and make sure you let people know when you will be back.
- Pre-vacation. If your schedule permits, give yourself a full day in between your last day of work and the day before you are scheduled to leave for vacation. Try to stay off your electronic devices and not think about what’s going on in the office.
- Unplug. Try to avoid looking at your emails and messaging your co-workers.
- Enjoy your time away and relax! It’s important to use this time for its intended purpose. Going on vacation does a lot to keep you healthy, both physically and mentally.
- Adjust your sleep schedule. Make sure you go to sleep at the same time as when you know you have to work the next morning. If you’re not on vacation for very long, make sure your sleep schedule doesn’t get too off-track.
When you come back:
- Come home early – Give yourself a few days to adjust to your normal routine. Try to dedicate a day to personal errands alone, whether that’s grocery shopping and cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, or just sleeping the whole day.
- First day back at work – come in early, if you can, and catch up. Give yourself an extra 30 minutes to an hour to check emails, voicemails, and figure out what problems happened while you were away. From there, you can make a list of what you need to do, starting from most to least important.
- Take it easy. If you throw yourself in full-force, it will cause you to be overly stressed, which will hurt the quality of your work.
- Catch up on emails. Check in with your supervisor and colleagues as soon as you can. Find out what you missed while you were away.
You don’t have to feel flustered the minute you go back to work. With some planning and a positive attitude, it won’t take you long to get back into your normal routine.
Written by Dami Falade