The long weekend is over and it’s back to the daily grind, unfortunately this means that gone are the days where you can wake up in the morning, and indulge till it was time to hit the sack again at night. Before you start counting down the days till the next long weekend, here are some ways to get back into the groove of things after a break.
Easing back into your work doesn’t start the moment you land, but actually before you even take off. To make sure that you’re not drowning in unanswered emails, paperwork and presentations when you get back, make sure that you tie off as many loose ends as possible before you even leave. That means, you should answer all emails that require urgent attention, and complete as many things as you can before the day you leave. And let people know that you’re not going to be contactable during your break, so that people know that you haven’t just dropped off the face of the world! I know, as your break gets nearer, the ability to stay focused gets diminished too, but don’t get too distracted, and finish up what needs to be done before your break so that you can enjoy it fully!
If you happen to be taking a longer than normal break, then always delegate your work to your office BFFs to make sure that you’re not left in the dust when you come back. But not only will this help you when you get back, but it will also make your holiday more enjoyable while it lasts. This is because if you trust your colleagues to absorb your work for you, you will have more peace of mind during your vacation, and not have this nagging feeling that you’re supposed to be somewhere else, doing something else.
Though it’s so tempting to just make full use of every moment of your holiday, and enjoy yourself all the way till the last possible moment, don’t! Because if you do, the next thing you know, it’s 5 in the morning, you’re still in yesterday’s outfit. and you have to get to work at 8, and nothing sucks more than that feeling. So take it easy the day before you get back to work, and spend a day pampering yourself (which still counts as making full use of your holiday), to refresh and rejuvenate your mind, so you can come back to work with a clear (and un-hungover) head.
So it’s the morning you’re supposed to start work, and a ton of stuff has accumulated while you were gone. While some people can just dive in, like you were just at work yesterday, for the rest of us, getting your mojo back takes a little more time. So don’t feel the need to work two times harder to get the same amount of work done. Doing so will either make you burn out, or dread going to work even more. Instead, allow yourself some time to readjust from holiday-mode to work-mode, and take your first day back slowly. Rev up during the middle of the week, or a couple of days after you get back to work, to pace yourself nicely.
I know I just said that there’s nothing worse getting home at 4am, and having to be at work at 8. But I lied, there’s nothing worse that getting home at 4am, having to be at work at 8, and knowing you have a meeting at 10. Meetings just make the whole process of getting back into the office that much more difficult, so leave the meetings for the later days, you already have enough inertia in terms of coming back to work. Instead focus on answering emails or other work, which is more than enough to keep you occupied on your first day back.
I’m sure we all know that time on the first day back passes particularly slowly (this is practically a rule of nature), and every minute just feels like an eternity. So to make you dread your first day back less, plan something fun for the evening, like going for a date with your significant other, or spending a Girls Night Out with your girlfriends. This will make sure that you have something to look forward to when you’re at work, helping those hours go by faster!
So these are some tips we have to help you get over that first day slump, and ease you back into work-mode. But whatever it is, nothing should stop you from enjoying your break as much as you can, you definitely deserve it! Do you have any tips you use? If you do, please share them with us in the comments box below!
Chen Wei is an undergrad majoring in Psychology. She's currently spending a year in New York City, where she's interning at a startup. When she's not at work, you can find her practising yoga, or exploring the Big Apple with her camera in hand.