Getting Back to Work after Vacation

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quit3We all know the feeling.  Returning to work after a long and relaxing vacation can often be excruciating.  Not only is the extra work you’re returning to somewhat daunting, but it can take time to get back into the professional grove.  It helps to have a plan for reentry into the daily grind.

In a recent Forbes.com article, author Kathryn Dill shares “5 Tips for Getting Back to Work after a Vacation.”  Here we share three of her tips:

1. Actively plan for your return.  Most people focus their energy on planning for their departure rather than their return.  However, it can be easier to return if you have a strategy for workforce reentry.  Laura Vanderkam, author of 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think, suggests that individuals return from vacation on Saturday instead of Sunday.  That gives you time to unpack and reorient yourself, maybe even relax at home, before taking the plunge back into work.

2. Factor in some triage.  It’s best that your first day of work not be loaded with meetings.  You should schedule in a couple transitional days where you can catch up on work and ensure you feel a bit more grounded before opening yourself to new projects and responsibilities.

3.   Your out-of-office response is your first line of defense—wield it to your advantage.  You should definitely inform your clients that you’ll be unreachable while on vacation.  This can be communicated via email, although you should also be sure to remind clients in a short and succinct voicemail greeting.  Feel free to provide them with an emergency contact they can reach in special circumstances.  Julie Morgenstern, author of Never Check Email in the Morning, also suggests that you include a couple days of cushion in that vacation span, enabling you to catch up on work while your clients assume you’re still out of the office.   This prevents your being inundated with client concerns and requests on your first day back at work.

In order to rejuvenate yourself and avoid burnout, it’s important that you regularly go on vacation.  However, in order to alleviate some of the stress that can often overwhelm professionals upon their return, there are some things you can do to make coming back to the office more enjoyable.

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Resource

Dill, Kathryn.  “5 Tips for Getting Back to Work after a Vacation.”  28 July 2014  Forbes.com

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