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8 Tips For Easing Back Into The Post-Vacation Workweek

Hopefully you all had a wonderful Canada Day weekend. And hopefully you had enough fun and relaxation that you’re not only ready for another work week, you’re actually looking forward to it!

Probably not, right?

It’s hard to come back to work after a long weekend, much less when you actually get some summer vacation time. The old joke goes that coming home from vacation makes you feel like you need a vacation. But don’t let the thought of a stressful return take away from the joy of some time off. Heed our advice for easing yourself back into work and avoid those post-vacation blues.

Plan ahead for your return.

I know, the last thing you want to think about before your vacation is what you need to get done when you get back. But with all the excitement of getting away from the office, a lot of people shoot themselves in the foot concerning their return. Don’t let pre-vacation you screw over post-vacation you. Look ahead at what you’ll be missing. Try to anticipate the big hurtles you’ll be facing back at the office. If you take a chunk out of the to-do list, you’ll leave the office more excited for your vacation than ever and it will help take away some of the stress on the other end.

Leave a clean workspace for yourself.

Keeping in line with doing yourself favours, don’t leave your workspace in a cluttered mess in your mad dash to get of there. You’d be surprised what a difference a clean office can make when after you’ve been away from the office for a while. Coming back to a chaotic atmosphere is starting things off very much on the wrong foot. Clean workspace means clean mind.

Let it be known you’re on vacation.

So you’ve come back from your wonderful vacation. You’re all relaxed and tanned and filled with memories of a great time. On the cab ride home from the airport, you decide to check your voice mail or your emails. Panic sets in at all the things you have missed. Suddenly, all those happy vacation memories are replaced with dread. Don’t let this happen to you!

Make it known unequivocally that you’re going on vacation and will be out of reach until your vacation is done. Set up out going voice mail and email messages explaining that you will be totally unavailable. If something comes up, they will have to wait until you are back to discuss it. Vacation means no work, so you shouldn’t get penalized by your absence.

Prioritize.

No matter how clear you make it that you’ll be on vacation, you’re probably going to come back to quite a bit of requests. Don’t panic when you see the email build-up, but also, don’t waste your first day back answering all the emails in chronological order. Some things can wait and therefore they will wait. Take a scan of your inbox and decide what the priorities are, what’s time sensitive and what can be pushed aside. You may feel guilty but those emails will still be there on Tuesday.

Go easy on yourself.

You’re only human and humans can only get so much done in the day. You don’t have to feel guilty going on vacation. It’s a reward for all your hard work and it’s well-earned. So when you return from vacation, don’t burn yourself out trying to play catch-up– treat it like you would any normal day. Set realistic and attainable goals for what you can get done in the day and don’t push yourself beyond what is necessary. There’s no need to work through lunch and don’t put in long hours, which brings us to our last tip…

Leave on time.

Don’t stay late at the office to tackle the next day’s work. It can wait until the next day. You’re no the first person to take vacation so you don’t have to work like you’re holding up the rest of the office. Leave at five, get there at nine and keep doing the same great work you always do.

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