How to Survive Your First Day Back At Work After a Vacation

How to Survive Monday If You Just Had 12 Days Off Work

It’s always nice to get some extra time off of work, whether that comes in the form of holidays or vacation. Sooner or later, though, it’s time to get back to work. For a lot of people, that day is today, and it will be a jarring shock to the system after a long stretch of time off.

They’re going to need all the coffee and some extra personal space.

Just getting back to work after some time off? Here are a few quick tips to help you attack that enormous pile of work and get back to your productive self as quick as possible.

The tips aren’t rocket science. That wouldn’t be fair as I know it’s all you can do just to remember your passwords today. They are a few pointers to remind you that your vacation wasn’t a mistake, you can totally do this:

Turn off your vacation email auto-responder

We’re starting small here, but you’ve been off for twelve days and we need to ease you back into your flow.

While we’re talking email, triage your inbox

Your inbox is likely bursting at the seams. Paring it down will lessen that feeling of crushing anxiety that is making it hard to breathe. Start with a quick pass, deleting all the junk and anything else that’s not important. Be ruthless. Next, handle the quick replies, anything you can make go away with a sentence or two. That should leave you with only the important stuff. Prioritize these and make a plan of attack for getting through them.

Keep the to-do list short

Remember, there are no more days off for a while (wait, what?) and nothing is as self-defeating as a to-do list with 97 items on it. Again, focus on the most important stuff first and then move on to what’s left. Budget time for your tasks across the week in manageable increments. Divide and conquer.

Avoid distractions

I’m not saying don’t look at Facebook, I mean that’s probably how you found this post. Besides, if you just plowed through 400 emails, a short break might actually be a good thing. Take a few minutes to catch up on social media or take a quick walk around the building.

If you can avoid the big distractions –meetings, long lunches, extended chats with coworkers about their holidays – you’ll get caught up faster and feel less overwhelmed.

Remember, lots of us are in the same boat today so do your best, mind the details, and keep moving forward. And whatever you do, don’t think about how long it is until your next vacation. (Although you probably already need one.)

What’s Your Tip?

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