Summer is coming to a close, which means that people are trekking away from the beach and back to their jobs. The fall season can be an especially hectic time for business owners, with Black Friday and the holidays lurking on the horizon. Getting back to the grind (and, let’s be honest, just facing reality) can be difficult after any length of vacation. Luckily, we have a few tips to help get your head out of the sand.
- Prepare before you leave. One of the nicest feelings in the world is coming back to a clean house – or desk – after a vacation. Do your future self a solid by taking the time to tidy up your workspace before you leave. Forgot to clean before you left? Give yourself some time to get organized immediately when you get back to work. Sure, there’s probably a crowded inbox full of emails that are calling your name, but by just having a clean workspace it will be easier to clear your head…and your to-do list.
- Give yourself a day for wiggle room. We’d all love to stay on vacation for as long as possible, but sometimes coming back a day early can make an incredible difference for your post-vacation productivity (and sanity).
Give yourself a buffer day between when you get home and when you go back to work. Use that day for whatever will help you get back into the groove, whether it be unpacking, buying groceries, watching TV or even just catching up on sleep. Getting back at 11 PM the night before work will only make for a chaotic start to your week. A simple non-vacation vacation day can help make the transition easier.
- Start with low-hanging fruit. You might feel overwhelmed after being gone for a week or two, and possibly worried about being behind on your tasks. These feelings might make it tempting to jump in and immediately tackle the biggest problems on your plate. However, rushing progress is a great way to get burnt out quickly upon your return to work. Instead of trying to slay the dragon, go after some lesser adversaries first. Respond to those easy-to-answer emails, or mail that bill that needs to be paid. Not only will you be able to check a good amount of items off your to-do list, but you’ll also get to enjoy the satisfaction of getting something done, even if it’s minor.
- Tackle one big project at a time. Once you do get around to facing your more daunting tasks, it’s still important to deal with them in moderation. Don’t try to work on everything at once: At best you’ll wind up exhausted, and at worst you’ll overlook important details by juggling too many balls at once. Instead, focus on one big project at a time. Additionally, give yourself breaks to focus on minor tasks, or to even do nothing at all. Your brain can get fuzzy in vacation mode, and it’s better to work efficiently than work swiftly. You’ll get back on track soon enough.
- Take it easy on yourself. Let’s be honest: you probably aren’t going to finish all the tasks you need to your first week back. You probably won’t even finish half of them! Remind yourself that you’re not a superhero, and that not checking every item off your to-do list doesn’t mean you’re a failure. The only thing that feels worse than going to work after vacation is feeling bad about how much work you haven’t completed after vacation. A positive attitude (and patience with yourself) will make your return much more peaceful.
Do you have any advice for going back to work after vacation? Let us know in the comments!
Andrea Kinnison is the Content Strategist for Material.com, an ecommerce store builder. When not helping entrepreneurs build their online stores, she enjoys reading, writing and exploring her hometown of Austin, Texas.