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How to get back to work from vacation

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Get back to work from vacation without the slump

All good vacations must come to an end at some point, but it always happens sooner than you think it will. It almost seems cruel to have to sit at a desk when you can still taste salt air and hear the carefree chatter of fellow vacationers. Returning to work may not sound very enticing, but it doesnít have to be painful.

If you prepared before leaving and delegated as much as possible, the challenge of going back to work from vacation is all about re-focusing your energy. The workload awaiting should be manageable. Look on the bright side, youíre returning with a clear head and a little sun glow. 

You re-charged those batteries, now use them. Knock out the tasks you donít enjoy so you can dig into the part of your job that you do. Get comfortable in your office chair and check out these tips to get back on track.


The first day back is bound to be a little chaotic. Business continued in your absence and now itís time to jump back on the moving train. Get a head start on catching up by going in a little early.

Use morning quiet time to read and answer emails, sort and prioritize. Do anything that will take less than five minutes or less and delegate what you can. File away things that can wait a day or two and focus on the most immediate to-dos.

Dig Deep

Remember all that extra work you did before going away? Now's the time to dig deep and take a breath because the number of emails waiting now may astound you, but many of them will be newsletters and "While you were gone" memosĖ things you need to know, but donít actually have to do anything about.

The Career Makeover Coach recommends organizing your life on this first day back. Read every email and flag those that require a follow-up. Do this in one sitting, and youíll catch up with every important project, client and development that happened while you were gone.

Eliminate Distractions

Itís nice that your colleagues want to see some vacation photos, but save it till the end of the day. Coming back to work from vacation means knowing when to be disciplined again, and when to share a few crazy stories. Showing the pictures will inevitably lead to anecdotes and soon your mind will drift. Resist the temptation and rein in the brain.

Calendar Check

Review your calendar for meetings and scheduled phone calls. This will help you manage your time between catching up and preparing for the week ahead. If you have any lunch meetings that will go over an hour, see about re-scheduling for a week when youíre less swamped.

Deadline City

Check up on all of your deadlines and find out where thereís wiggle room. As new projects come up, buy yourself more time than usual. Missing one deadline can have a domino effect. Donít set yourself up to fail!

Make Weekend Plans

The secret of getting back to work from vacation is to keep one foot in va-cay mode. Thereís no reason why you need to hang up that spontaneous side of your traveling self. Plan the kind of activity you wouldnít normally do and invite your friends or family. You may be surprised to find that many of the activities you enjoyed while away - mountain biking, food adventures or karaoke Ė are available locally.

As hard as it may feel to get yourself out of bed and put on the office clothes after a week of light, colorful dresses, you can do it. A body in motion will stay in motion so just focus on getting yourself out the door. By the end of the week youíll be back in the swing of things and grateful. Your job is part of the reason you were able to take a vacation in the first place

References:Career Makeover Coach

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