Have you ever felt unorganized or frazzled upon your return to work after an extended vacation? Trying to get back into your routine after a long weekend or extended vacation can be an overwhelming task. Follow these 3 steps to help you regroup after a long break and be prepared for your first day back from vacation.
1. Before you leave the office…
You should make a to-do list to use when you return to the office. Do this while your mind is clear and focused. Take a look ahead and check the calendar for any upcoming due dates or meetings. Clear off your desktop, store loose documents, file folders, and respond to any last minute emails. This way, your desktop will be clean and clear for your return back to the office. Then take some time to set up your out of office email message and voice mail with the specifics of your time away from the office. Let your colleagues know how they can assist you while you’re out. Let people know by email and phone that you will not available. This will help manage everyone’s expectations.
2. Before you leave home…
Decide on what you will wear the day you return to the office and get it ready. This will definitely make life easier if you have a long travel path or a red-eye flight. Doing this will alleviate the stress of when you return, if your outfit is hanging up and ready to go. Secondly, keep your work tote or book bag organized and ready for the day you return. Finally, keep your transit card, work ID, and office keys in a centralized location at home. These are items that should always be left at home unless you are traveling from work or school.
While you are traveling, avoid checking your emails. Checking your emails prohibits you from really relaxing and enjoying yourself! If anything comes up before you return, send yourself an email reminder so that you see it as soon as you return to the office.
3. Before you return to the office…
If possible, use your remote access to check your email before you return to the office. Going through your email ahead of time in a calm environment helps ease your transition back to work. This action will reduce your stress and anxiety if you can complete it before returning back to work/school so there are no surprises. Secondly, make sure you arrive early on your first day back in the office or school. This allows you to get back into the “work / school” mindset before anyone else arrives. Then you can review your to-do list as a reminder of what needs to get done. Now you can hit the ground running and get up to speed like you never skipped a beat!
If you follow these simple steps, it will help you get back into the groove of your work/school routine. Having a solid game plan will assist you in getting back into the office/school mode and alleviate some stress. Then you will never have the anxiety associated with being out of the office for an extended period of time.
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