10 Tips to make back to work after vacation easy

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Getting back to work after vacation or holidays can be challenging. Getting back from fun and relaxing holidays to the daily grind is not easy. Moreover, many times getting back to work is more than routine work, you also need to attend to the backlog of work. You have to deal with vacation blues while getting things done. But with careful planning and the right mindset, your transition back to work can be eased. In this post, I am sharing with you 10 Tips to make back to work after vacation easy so that you can gain back your control over work. You can use these tips to get back to work even after a long weekend.

How to get back to work after holiday 

Here are 10 tips to help you get back to work after holidays and vacation to ease your transition back to work.

first back to work after vacation

Tip 1: Return back from vacation a day before leave

If you are coming back from vacation it is best to come at least a day before your leave last day so that you can have some time to relax before joining the office. Vacations are relaxing but with many fun things to do you often get physically tired. Traveling back from vacation can also be tiring. Hence it is best to have a day for yourself to unwind and prepare yourself for going back to work.

If you were not out on vacation but were enjoying holidays at home, it is still good to have a buffer day to relax. Holidays involve a lot of preparation from decor to meals and hosting get-togethers. All this is a lot of fun but can be tiring too. Not to forget getting your house back in order after the holidays. Hence it is better to have a day with not much to do to help you transition back to work more easily.

Make sure to lay out your work clothes and get your work bag ready as I commonly struggle with finding my things for work when I get back after holidays or a long weekend.

Tip 2: Checking emails and turn off vacation auto-response

Once you are back to work after vacation, the first thing to do is to check your emails to get updated on things that happen in your absence. It is also very important to identify the tasks that are required to be attended. Respond back to the emails that you have received in your absence at work. You may not be able to revert back with completed tasks and resolution to their queries. But after planning your work you can revert to them with a tentative timeline to expect a revert from you. This way people feel heard and will not be disappointed for not hearing back from you.

Also, make sure to turn off your vacation auto-response.

Tip 3:Update your calendar for meetings and deadlines

Have a glance at your calendar for the upcoming meetings to make sure of your availability and also to make sure you are well-planned to enact the responsibilities of the upcoming meetings. As you run through your emails update your calendar with important events and meetings.

Based on emails and the events in the coming week add reminders and notes to your calendar for any submission deadlines so that you do not miss on key things.

Tip 4: Make a To-do list and prioritize

Update your To-do list with recent tasks if you do not have a to-do list make one for all the backlog that you need to attend. While updating your to-do list here are things to add.

  • Reverts to email. If you can revert to the email query in 2 minutes, you should do it while checking the emails and not add to the to-do list. If you need to get some work done or collect information before reverting to the email, those should be added to the to-do list.
  • Tasks that are required to be completed before attending the meetings during the week.
  • Updates to colleagues and managers.
  • Critical tasks with a deadline.
  • Any planned event in the coming week.
  • Any important follow-up.

Once you have made your to-do list make sure to prioritize your tasks based on urgency and importance. It will not be possible for you to attend everything in a day but by prioritizing you are making a careful choice to attend the high-priority work first so that there are no consequences. You can also choose to delegate work that is not very critical to others to reduce your to-do list. You can read my post How to prioritize work tasks to know more about prioritizing work.

To get work under control and stay organized at work. I use the below work planner.

Tip 5: Communicate with your colleagues

On getting back to work after vacation it is better to communicate to your colleagues. This is essential if you work remotely or if you work with teams across different locations. If it is required for you to communicate to your HR and managers about resuming work, you should do the same.

While communicating with your colleagues you can share your vacation experience and hear their vacation stories to bond together and make a return to work easier for you and your colleagues. You should also make a point to communicate any possible delay that can be expected as you were out of the office and now trying to catch back on work. If you have a team it is good to conduct a short meeting to communicate with the team the expectations for the coming week and get them aligned with the work that is required to be completed.

back to work after holidays

Tip 6: Take it slow

Rushing headfirst into your tasks without giving yourself time to adjust and get an understanding of the work makes you overwhelmed. You cannot complete everything that is missed during your leave in a day. Take it slow and do not burn yourself. Plan your work mindfully and intentionally. Avoid overloading yourself with work and plan to gradually increase the workload.

It may not be possible for you to take complete time at work to complete tasks that were missed during your leave. You also need to get going with the present work as it comes along. Hence you can try to allocate some time for catching up on missed updates and tasks and rest for doing the daily work to strive for a balance.

Tip 7: Deal with the post-vacation slump

Post-vacation slump is real, we all face it. Returning to our daily routines and work after a fun time on holiday and vacation is not easy. The best way to deal with the vacation blues is to accept it and extend grace to yourself. Embrace that it is normal to feel so but it is essential that you gradually get into your daily routine.

Find ways to motivate yourself to get going at work. Revisit the rejuvenating experiences of your vacation and channel the energy into your work. Develop a positive mindset to seek this as an opportunity to get a fresh start at work.

Ensure your wellness at work by practicing simple self-care practices that will help you deal with the post-vacation slump. Here are 10 self care tips that you can easily follow at work to ensure your wellness at work.

Tip 8: Don’t stay late to ensure work-life balance

It is a common feeling to stay late after work to catch up on the work missed during your leave from work. But this should be totally avoided. Vacations and holidays are to rejuvenate yourself and relax yourself. By staying late you are kind of defeating the purpose of vacation and stressing yourself. Instead, vacations are a good way to reset your routine and get a fresh start. Since it is already known at work that you were out of the office, it is normal to have delays at work and the expectations of your colleagues are also in line with it. It may be possible that you are overstressing about your pending tasks whereas your colleagues are aware of the situation. If not you should make a point to communicate to them.

Also after vacation and holidays things at home are also not as per the routine. There may be pending laundry or cleaning around the house that may also need your attention. By staying late at work you can not spend time at home to catch up with your personal work. Try to strive for a work-life balance.

P.S. You can read my post 10 Tips for Achieving Work-Life Balance.

Tip 9: Clear backlog before taking on new tasks

Clearing the backlog before taking on new tasks is necessary for a smooth and productive transition back to work after a vacation. Getting back to work after a holiday to an overflowing inbox and a pile of unfinished projects can be overwhelming hence it is good to focus first on clearing the backlog. The piled-up work can add to stress making it difficult for you to focus on work.

You should dedicate the first few days post-vacation to prioritizing and completing pending tasks, to regain control over the work and get back to your work rhythm quickly. Taking on new projects after clearing up your backlog allows you to have a clean slate and approach new assignments with renewed energy and a clear mind.

Tip 10: Organize your work desk to be more productive

On getting back to work after vacation I find myself either with paper piled up on my desk or spending time looking for my stationary. So after getting back from holidays, I prefer to organize my desk and create an environment that improves my work efficiency. You can start by organizing the paper and putting it away in the respective files. Followed by cleaning and sanitization of the work desk. Next, get your stationery organized and accessible for work. With a clutter-free desk, you will be less distracted and can focus better on work instead of wasting time looking for things around.

You can also add inspiration to your work desk to get motivated to beat the post-vacation blue. Here are 14 tips to organize your work desk and get more productive.

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back to work after vacation


These are the 10 tips that will help you ease getting back to work after vacation. With the right planning, a positive mindset and proactively addressing the backlog at work you can efficiently get through the challenging period of getting back to work after the holiday.

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