This summer record numbers of people are taking time off and going on vacation. Being away has so much value in helping us reset. However, getting back into the workflow can be difficult after vacation. Check out these strategies to help you transition back to work more quickly.
Write vacation preparation notes
Set yourself up for success with notes before you leave. Additional notes on the next steps help you catch up upon return. Share these notes with colleagues who are on your team.
Schedule no meetings the first day back
Give yourself time to go through email, check your schedule and set priorities the first day after vacation. By prioritizing getting organized you are ready to get back into the workflow. From my own experience, you are not ready to get back to full speed that first day. Pace yourself with having a buffer day.
Review your planner and your tasks to prioritize
Returning from travel, at work, you are likely in the middle of many projects and at home you definitely need groceries. Review your planner to catch up on what is next for your planner. At home, check in with what is needed immediately to run smoothly. Taking this review time gives you a sense of direction and where to spend your time first.
Set a reasonable schedule for the week of your return
Don’t overdo and overbook your first week back. Diving back into a full schedule seems smart because you have been away. Give yourself ample self-care and breaks during the first week back with extra time for walks, preparation for each day, and lots of hydration.
Set aside time to work through email
Email is the most difficult part of the return to work. Having a plan helps you gain control. Be sure to set your out-of-office reminder so that your colleagues know you are not going to respond until you return. Then, use divide your time to work through email when you return. Set aside a time block for a high-level review of email and learn what is urgent. You can respond to this quickly. Then, set another time block to calendar dates, add information to projects, and work through what has come in while you were away. By creating two segments for your email, you can feel more in charge and be more responsive.
Return to routines quickly
Unpack your luggage, order groceries, start laundry and get to bed on time. Returning to your routines quickly helps you ramp up your productivity.
Give yourself grace throughout the first week back to work. It is going to take time to regain momentum. Having these strategies will help you be proactive about your workflow after your time away.