Taking breaks and vacations from work is extremely important, both for our health and our well-being. The reduction of burnout and stress through time off can be very meaningful for a person’s overall metal and physical state. But getting back into the rhythm of working and getting organised may not always be so easy…
Especially after the Christmas season and the festivities that it brings, it may seem like a struggle for most to get back behind their desk. Luckily, a little pre-vacation strategic plan can help you prepare yourself more for your first few days back and help you accomplish a smooth exit and re-entry! Here are some tips to help guide you into a relaxed holiday and then right back into the work life.
Make a running list of your projects before you leave
Being away from your work causes you to forget and get out of the daily details of tasks and projects. We therefore recommend making 2 lists which you can use upon your return. First, make a list of all the projects you are currently working and their corresponding status level. Second, a list noting down all projects and tasks you want to start at your return. Your priorities might change, but starting a list will give you a good starting point once you return.
Delegate the things that can't wait until you return
One project which you are working on, may need to be completed or worked on during your leave. Be sure you are clear on who is covering your urgent tasks and give your co-workers an overview of the deadline and all the information they need to succeed.
Set up an out of the office email
Don’t wait until the last second to set up your out-of-office email – Email services allow you to pre-schedule your vacation notice days in advance. Set the expectation whether you will be checking your email while you are away and leave an alternate contact if anything urgent has to be discussed.
Clean up before you leave
Organise any files or documents you have lying around your desk and create some order in your workspace! This includes cleaning up your Hard drive on your computer as sorting out your email. This step does not guarantee to come back to perfection, but you will have a better starting point.
Give yourself a buffer day
Giving yourself a buffer day between the day you return from vacation and going back to work, you allow yourself to be able to relax and be able to complete all the little tasks without being under pressure. Taking care of small tasks at home and settling in properly can make your re-entry into work much smoother.
Block time on your calendar for emails
Blocking time out on your first day back to go through your email allows you to identify what has been going since you have been gone. Alongside this, it allows you to prioritise again and determine what projects are important and which ones can be waited on.
Make a to-do list
Create a clear to-do list when returning from a longer vacation. This helps you get back into the rhythm of prioritising and checking off tasks which could range from small to large. Small tasks are good to complete on your first day as it makes you feel accomplished and will give you motivation for the days ahead.
Schedule catch-up meetings
Scheduling meetings or catch-ups allows you to not only follow up on the people who covered your work while you were gone, but also allows you to book some time out of your calendar. Talking with your colleagues and team members as well allows you to get back into the rhythm of working and setting your priorities with projects and tasks.
Resume your usual routine
To get back into your work routine, it is also essential to get back into your usual routine after work as well. This includes waking up at the same time you usually would, go through your typical morning routine and end your day the way you usually would. Getting back into your typical routine allows you to feel more balanced in your transition.
Get lots of sleep
After being on vacation, you might feel a bit of a vacation hangover! In response to this, sleeping and getting a lot of rest can help ease the tress of starting to work again. Don’t work crazy hours to make up for the time you lost while on vacation and keep your sleeping pattern the same as usual.
Now that you have settled into the working rhythm again, it’s time to plan your next holiday! It’s always nice knowing when you will have another trip or some time off. That anticipation will you keep you driven for weeks, and helps you stay on track at work.
Taking time off to recuperate and enjoy other aspects of life than work such as travel or other activities can have a great impact on your well-being. If you are looking for a new exciting position which allows you to create such a life/work balance, then don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our many specialised consultants for a confidential conversation!
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