Ah, holiday season. It’s the time of year for family, friends, food, Cyber Monday, and some rest and relaxation in the form of holiday time off. Perhaps even trickier than trying to put skinny jeans on after one too many servings of sweet potatoes, is the tasks of catching up on work after being off for a few days.
If you’re in a role where the work you do every day is critical to the success of your organization, clients, and the rest of your team, getting your groove back after time away is even more important. It can also be pretty darn stressful if you don’t have a firm plan of attack in place.
There’s no need to stress out because today I’m sharing five tips I use to get organized and maintain as much of that restful vacation feeling as possible. Use these tips to ease your way back into the workweek minus the stress.
Get Back to Work … ?
I used to work for an agency where you could expect to return to a list of things you didn’t ‘do right’ no regardless of how hard you tried to prepare prior to vacation. An extreme example granted (and one I happily don’t encounter any longer!), but true, and hopefully not the case where you invest your life-blood.
However, no matter where you work, it can still be a challenge to find your groove after a break – and the longer you’ve been away, the harder the adjustment upon return. So here are five tips I use to help get back into the groove of work, while minimizing stress along the way.
Five Tips to Tackle Your ‘List’ … Minus the Freakout
1) Make a ‘to do’ list before you leave.
Okay this tip is tricky because if you didn’t do it before you left you can’t do it now. You can, however, tuck this tip away for future holidays because it is majorly helpful. Think about it, you don’t have to come back and figure out where you left off on a project or what’s due the day you’re back. Instead, you can refer to the list you made, and add to it once you open your email. Email brings us to tip number two …
2) Don’t open your email right away.
Don’t do it. I mean it. If you open your inbox, you may sabotage your return to work, and delay or forgo your groove all together. You’ve been warned …
3) Refer to the list you made before you left and re-prioritize it.
This may sound simple, and you may have prioritized before you left, but you will want to review it again to ensure your priorities haven’t changed.
4) Look at your highest priority task on your list and complete it before opening your email.
This may sound terrifying for some of you (it initially was for me) but the chances of something ‘blowing up’ within your inbox are slim to none. Even if you’re the CEO of an organization, you’ll find this tip can be very freeing and a big stress-relief.
5) When you do open your email …
Remember, you are the only one that knows when you read an email. That is, unless someone adds a receipt notification, they don’t know if you’ve even read their email yet. This means, you don’t have to reply or complete a task immediately. Instead, you can take a moment and start adding these new tasks to your list and re-prioritize accordingly.
You’re Not the Only One With a List
Regardless of whether those priority emails or tasks are from your employer, team member, or a client, remember their whole world is not revolving around your assigned task. Just like you, they have a ton on their plate and if they’re coming back from a holiday as well, so they’re in the same boat. In other words, they’re not refreshing their inbox every 30 seconds waiting for your reply. Keep calm, and tackle your list.
A version of this post originally appeared in my guest blog on FeedBlitz.