No matter how much you enjoy your job, getting going again after time away from the office on holiday can be tricky.
You want to hang on to that chilled feeling you have managed to achieve whilst away, but you are also conscious of needing to hit the ground running.
I remember that feeling when you go back to a large office after your holiday, and it feels like everything has changed. You are desperately playing catch-up, and it soon can feel like that holiday was a distant memory.
If you are self-employed, it can be easier to wind back up to full speed, but you also may lack some of the resources, such as a PA, that you had in your corporate life.
Here is my advice:
Prepare over the weekend
Take a few minutes to think about what lies in store for you on Monday morning. Decide what you are going to wear and make sure it is washed and ready. You don’t want to be scrabbling about looking for your work bag, keys, badge and other essentials, so get ready now. Then relax and enjoy your last few hours of precious holiday time.
Refresh your memory
If you know you have a meeting to attend, look back over your notes and remind yourself what the meeting is about and what you want to contribute and/or achieve from the session. Nobody else wants to know that you are still in holiday mode and haven’t quite worked out what you are there to do!
Break up your day
Day one back in the office can often be about clearing a backlog of emails. Make sure you take regular breaks from your screen. Stretch your legs and stay hydrated. Go for a walk at lunchtime and think back to where you were this time last week. Replaying your holiday highlights can help to boost your mood and prepare you for the afternoon.
Prioritise and learn to say ‘no’
Work out your number one goal that you have to achieve. Prioritise your workload and don’t let everyone steal your time. You might need to practise saying ‘no’ or ‘can we schedule that for another day’ to give yourself some breathing space. You don’t have to achieve everything on your first day back in the office. Try to ease in gently, as much as you can.
And before you go away again,
- Don’t schedule any meetings for your first day back in the office
- Set up rules so your emails are allocated to different inboxes to help you prioritise them on your return or use a PA/VA
Holidays and relaxation are precious. We work so hard and put ourselves under so much pressure to be productive that our self-care often gets forgotten. Take steps to keep that relaxed holiday vibe going for as long as possible. If you don’t accomplish a task on your to-do list today, the world will probably not end.
Get a good night’s sleep and dream about your next vacation.