Making the transition from vacation back to work
As we welcome in the summer months, many of us have vacation on our minds. Whether it’s a few days, a week or two off, we all deserve some downtime to decompress and spend time with our loved ones. But in the back of our minds, we have that one dreaded thought: the return to work. But what if you work remotely? Returning to a physical workplace helps switch our minds back to work mode. Unfortunately, this transition takes a more conscious effort when working from home.
7 tips to feel refreshed after the holidays when working from home
- Give yourself a buffer day
- Check your work calendar
- Don’t start your day checking emails
- Make a day plan
- Get your office organized
- Fix your mindset
- Set reasonable time goals
A buffer day
As much as the holidays are for relaxing, your time off can feel just as stressful as work. Amidst all the hustle and bustle, give yourself a day of true relaxation. Whether that means vegging out on the couch or catching up on sleep, give yourself a self-care day in whatever way works for you. Once it’s time to return to work you’ll feel refreshed and recharged.
Check work calendar
The day before your return, take a few moments to check your calendar. Doing so will give you time to mentally prepare for your return and make sure no surprise meetings or projects have sprung on you.
Don’t start your day checking emails
You’ll most likely have hundreds of unread emails, but don’t start your day checking them. It seems counterproductive but checking that overflowing inbox first thing will do nothing but frustrate you.
When it does come time to check your inbox, be strategic. Your best bet is to start by scanning through the subject lines. While doing this, categorize emails by messages you need to respond to and ones that just need to be read. From there, you can further gauge each message’s priority for maximum efficiency.
Have a day plan
After time off it can take some time to ease back into the work mindset and you might find yourself getting overwhelmed. So, you need to go in with a game plan. Compile a list of tasks that absolutely need to be done within your first day. Rank them by priority and keep your list visible to stay on track during the day. Having a plan will keep you on track when faced with distractions and relieve some stress.
On your return day, take your first hour to get yourself resituated. Tidy up and reorganize your desk. A clean workspace will help you get into the right mindset. Grab a cup of coffee (or two) and connect with colleagues or your team to get back into the swing of things. If you jump into work in a mess environment chances are your work efforts won’t be overly effective.
Fix your mindset
I know, this sounds like a pretty obvious tip, but when working from home, it can be so easy to get caught up in other household chores. After some time off, it’s easy to forget your home is also your office eight hours of the day. That load of laundry can quickly turn into vacuuming the house and then meal prepping for the week, and it just keeps snowballing, and next thing you know, you’ve forgotten your work.
While you need to be productive during work hours, make sure you also make time for your home life. It’s tempting to put in an extra hour or so of work, but it’s a slippery slope. Getting back into routine might take some time but set strict work hours and stick to them. Just because you work from home doesn’t mean you always need to be working.
Set reasonable time goals
You probably have a lot on your plate but remember not everything will get done your first day back. You might think that extending your work hours will help you catch up faster, but it’s only going to lead to burnout. Set reasonable deadlines for each task to help guide you as you transition back to work in the upcoming weeks. Think of it as a marathon and not a sprint.
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