How to ease back into work after a break (Poll)?
When returning from a relaxing holiday, it can be hard to bounce back at work. Before getting frustrated with work and quickly burning out, it’s best to be strategic and to ease your way back into the office without getting all worked up.
According to a recent survey by Monster.com, in Hong Kong only 9% of people feel like they have to drag themselves back to work after a holiday; the vast majority – 84% – actually looks forward to taking work challenges head on. If you want to be part of this group, you should consider the following tips.
1. Tick off your to-do list
The days before embarking on a holiday will always feel especially cramped with meetings and deadlines, but completing your to-do list before your vacation is an absolute must. After all, you don’t want to check your emails when travelling. So put holiday daydreams on hold and work your way down that list – perhaps drawing a little sun at the end of your list will motivate you.
In case any of your projects need pushing forward while you are gone, you need to find a colleague you can entrust with taking on your job for a few days. To make your return especially pleasant, don’t forget to clean up and leave your desk tidy before dashing to the airport.
2. Keep your calendar clear
Don’t jump right back into it. Remember the Monday after your last holiday? Even if you have delegated some of your projects to colleagues, your email inbox surely will look a bit messy. Your effort to catch up on all you have missed, replying to all the unanswered emails, can easily consume half of your day.
Do yourself a favor and keep your calendar free of unnecessary meetings or events. Also, if you are a regular in the cross fit boot camp, you might want to refrain from joining that Monday evening class.
3. Prioritize your tasks
Everybody who wanted a piece of you during your holiday will have seen your out-of-office notice – so, use it your advantage. People will expect a certain delay in your response. After all, not everything will demand your immediate attention.
Scan your email inbox, to-do list and calendar invites in order to determine which project needs priority treatment, what tasks can be delegated to colleagues, and what can be gently pushed back.
4. Don’t do overtime
It may seem like an easy solution to solve all the problems that have piled up on your desk while you were gone. But think twice - doing overtime on your first day back in the office will only generate bad feelings, making you already long for the next holiday. And don’t even consider taking any work home, as that will make it even worse.
If you follow all the steps above, leaving on time should not be an issue. Do one thing at the time without allowing yourself too much distraction and you won’t have to stay longer. After all, you should enjoy coming back to the office. Do it like most of Hong Kong – look forward to the challenges that lie ahead.