11 Ways To Successfully Get Back To Work After Summer

After hanging out with the family and friends, absent of your regular routine, soaking in the sun, the last thing you want to think about is work. But as much as you would like your summer to last forever, it’s time to come back to reality.

During the first couple of days back in the office, it’s best to visit the old tasks first and catch up with what you’ve missed. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, tackle newer assignments on a later date when you feel a little bit more prepared and settled. But as long as you take your time, conquer one thing at a time, and schedule yourself some breaks in between, you can slowly return into your work routine sooner than you think.

1. Return One Day Early

While you might want that extra day to hang out, it might be a better idea to return one day earlier to get situated before you head back into the office. For example; If you’re going away for a week (or two!), there’s a lot to be said for returning Saturday instead of Sunday.  This will give you a chance to unpack, catch up on the laundry, and sleep off jet-lag.

2. Turn On Your Out-Of-Office Responder Before You Leave

Out-of-office responders are lifesavers. They will notify people that you’re not at work, so when you return, you won’t feel overwhelmed with angry emails. Clearly state how long you’ll be out and who they can contact for their immediate needs.

3. Don’t Try To Tackle Your Work all At Once

You won’t be able to do it all in the first day back. Map out the one to two things you must get done each day and you’ll feel much better than trying to get to everything on day one. Rather than feeling overwhelmed with your workload, take one step at a time with your assignments. Also, make sure to schedule your meetings the second day you’re in the office, so you don’t go crazy.

4. Resume Your Routine

It can be difficult to get back into the routine of things when you first return to work. Allow a day or so, and your natural work rhythm will fall back into place and you can start to feel productive again. “Feeling productive is all about getting back in the groove. Have your morning coffee and enjoy your lunch away from your desk. These simple things will help make the transition back a lot more enjoyable.”

5. Clean & Prioritize Your Inbox

Although you may want to pull your hair out while you’re trying to answer all of your emails, figure out a system to answer the most important ones first and then return to the others later. Resist the urge to read and respond. Start with the emails sent right after you left for vacation and end with those most recently received. That way you’ll track responses or updates to topics or issues that may have already been settled in the time you were gone.

6. Create To-Do List

If you really want to be an overachiever (and of course you do), try creating your to-do list the day before you head into the office. It can organize your thoughts and make you feel more prepared when you go to work.

7. Schedule Contingency Time In Your Schedule

It’s important to not feel guilty if you want a little break every now and then. Let your mind adjust back to reality by scheduling a few breaks on your calendar so no one bothers you. “Make sure to schedule contingency time in your schedule to act as a buffer for the unexpected that first week back too.

8. Embrace Post-Vacation Blues

While it’s completely natural to feel sad that your vacation is over, it’s important to remember that there can always be another one in the future. Be prepared that you are going to get some scathing emails when you get back, and plan to have a little extra self-care those first few days.

9. Strategize Your Tasks

Try to strategize your first few days back by looking at tasks you can quickly check off your ‘to-do’ list. You can start feeling good about how much you are accomplishing in a short period of time, and mentally will be prepared for some heavier lifting in the workplace. Whether you decide to start with the easiest or the hardest tasks first, remember to stick to a routine that works for you, so you don’t feel like you’ve wasted away your day.

10. Stay Hydrated & Drink Caffeine

Usually, the first day is the hardest. While you still might be on a vacation high from your wonderful adventure, you might feel tired and grumpy because of jet-lag. Stay hydrated with tea and water to help keep you alert while you’re getting back into the groove of things. There are many herbs and teas that can help both to sharpen mental acuity and increase focus — and when consumed as teas, you can reap those benefits.

11. Get A Good Night’s Rest

The last thing you want to do is feel anxious because your workload is overwhelming. Make sure you’re getting a good night’s rest so you can wake up feeling refresh before you head into work. If you’re having trouble sleeping, feel free to drink some tea or mediate to help slow things down. It might take a while to get back into the routine of things, but with patience and time, it can happen. “The ritual of drinking something warm before bed is a great addition to anyone’s sleep routine. Choosing a tea that contains herbs with calming properties—like lemon balm which is shown to promote more restful sleep, while its aroma is known to calm the mind.”

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