So you’ve returned to work after the holidays, and the days seem longer and your brain doesn’t seem to be functioning at its full capacity. Well, there is a positive: you are not alone. The majority of people have a hard time jumping right back into where they left off.
Here are five tips to help me you jump back into the swing of things:
Tackle old tasks first.
It’s not easy to pick up right where you left off, but to avoid feeling, even more, overwhelmed, prioritize catching up on your emails and wrap up old projects before beginning anything new. The newer assignments can wait until you feel more settled, caught up and prepared. In similarity, schedule all your meetings to the second day you are in the office to avoid the stress of too much to do and too little time to get it done on your very first day!
Return one day earlier.
Don’t come back on a Sunday and jump into a new work week on the Monday. While you may want to use that extra day to bask in the sun, the best thing you can do for yourself is give yourself a day to get settled and give you some sense of normalcy before you jump back into things. It could even mean giving yourself a couple of hours of email catchup time on Sunday night so Monday is even more approachable!
Don’t tackle everything all at once.
You missed multiple days, so be realistic – you aren’t going to get caught up in a single day. Be organized and prioritize. Write a to-do list for the week and work your way down the list. Understandably your list will be pretty long, so don’t try to tackle everything at once.
Start your routine again.
Just like riding a bike, jumping into familiar habits will make you feel more prepared. Your brain’s muscle memory will kick in and after a day or so your natural work rhythm will return, and you will get back to being productive.
Be kind to yourself.
Coming back from a luxurious time off (especially when it is a beach vacation) is never fun, and your mental state may take a hit. So be kind to yourself and prioritize your mental health a little extra that first week back, whether that be a yoga class, a movie night or a massage.