Today’s tip: Making the return to work a little easier
Many people take time off work in August, and look forward to leaving all thoughts of work behind. While leaving it all behind makes for a great vacation, it’s not so great when you return to work wondering where to begin. Here are some options for easing your transition back to work.
Before you leave for vacation:
- As much as possible, finish up projects so you won’t have to worry about finishing them when you return.
- Rather than trusting your memory, make a “to do” list of tasks to handle on your first day or week back on the job.
- If lists aren’t your style, place a note in key project files to remind you where you left off or what remains to be done.
- Change your voicemail and email reply so people know you are away. State when you will return calls and reply to emails. Offer the name of someone else to contact if their issue cannot wait until your return.
- Straighten your work station. Returning to work will seem a little less daunting if your work area looks a little neater and more organized than it usually does.
- If possible, plan your vacation so that you return home early enough to have one entire free day at home before returning to work. That will give you time to unpack, buy groceries and get ready for the return to your regular schedule.
On the last day of your vacation:
- Begin the transition from vacation to work. Organize what you’ll need to take to work. Take some quiet time for yourself. Be sure to turn in early enough to get a good night’s rest.
- If you’re worried about what you missed while you’re away, call a co-worker to ask what has changed during your absence. The information will help your re-entry.
On your first day back to work:
- Be realistic and don’t expect to have a clear desk on your first day back. Allow yourself to be behind and to catch up steadily.
- Go through your email and thin out the clutter so your in-box won’t seem so overwhelming. Remember that all your new e-mails don’t need to be answered immediately. Prioritize.
- Rather than tackling something new, finish up a project that you started before you left for vacation. Or, tackle an easy project that will help you get back in the swing of things and feel successful.
Sources: Huffington Post, Wikihow, WebMD, Mutual of Omaha, ThinkStock
Published Aug. 7, 2013