5 steps to get back to work after vacations

I waved the beautiful seaside country goodbye, unpacked my trunk, boasted my tan to everybody I could, and… met the first Monday of my post-vacation life.
In order to successfully leave the laziness bliss without getting hit on my head with the reality crowbar, I tried some simple steps on the way back to the working routine.
You can say they proved to be effective as today is already Wednesday, and not a single thought on wanting more vacation crossed my mind yet 🙂

So instead of diving headfirst into piles of tasks and calls and meetings, take the below steps one at a time.

  1. Come earlier to tidy up your mail

    An hour in the office before your colleagues arrive and start bombarding you with the questions about your amazing rest provides the respite to deal with that 250 emails and 300 Skype/slack/you-name-it messages that were haunting you so much that you mustered all your willpower and restrained from reading them.
    Of course, now you still don’t have to read all of them, so sort your correspondence by the sender or the topic and scan through it deleting the unnecessary messages mercilessly. The point is to receive the crucial information without lingering on that new Spanish course announcement for too long.

  2. Find out the status of your project

    After your coworkers admired your fresh look, catch up in a casual conversation with them about what happened during your absence. Surely, don’t forget to ask your superior – project manager or tech lead – for the update on what went well and what did not when you were munching on that pineapple carpaccio. In case there was a pure havoc, let’s hope that the sweets and wine you brought will do just fine.

  3. Create a to-do list for the first week

    Now you have a clearer picture of what you have to do, whom to meet, and where to go. Usually, on my comeback week, I feel like a fish that spent too much time out of the water and has to learn how to use its gills again. The same is with my brain: it gets a fresh perspective on the situation and often produces new ways of doing routine tasks, but stumbles and freezes when it comes to the actual work. Better to write every new insight down and then plan your activities for the next couple of days. This would silence the little monkey that starts banging on the drum in your head each time you open that TFS task.

  4. Plan something pleasant for the evening

    It would be easier to survive through the day knowing that right after you leave the office you will be playing bowling, or visiting the spa, or watching The Secret Life of Pets with a huge bucket of ice cream for that matter. Do something that maintains the joyous mood evoked by the vacation. One more transition day would do only good to your health. Because who said you can’t have fun anymore?

  5. Anticipate your return to the office

    They say, attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Well, instead of dreading to return to work, why not look forward to that? Just imagine how glad your co-workers would be to see you, how much yet-to-be-drunk coffee awaits you, how long your computer was off without you! Remember to anticipate the pleasant and not dwell too much on the difficulties.

On my comeback day, I said that I was really happy to be back at work, and my colleague joked that I would change my mind till noon. I’m glad I proved him wrong.
And how do you feel on your first day after vacations? I’d be glad to learn your experience 🙂

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