This post is all about how to ease into your first day back at work after holiday.
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Is it time to return to your normal routine now that the holidays are over? You might still be on your holiday high, but post-holiday blues are slowly creeping up on you.
Don’t worry! It’s very common to dread that feeling on going back to your mundane life and job – especially if holidays were your escape from it.
You need to catch up on all of your work highlights, respond to emails, get the house back in order, and adjust your sleep schedule.
Hell, who even remembers the password to login into your system!? (Been there!)
Honestly, your to-do list is longer than you think.
And, while you have every right to be grumpy on your first day back, there is a better way to handle this! Here are 14 tips that guarantee a smooth transition to your first day back at work after holiday.
7 tips for First day back at work after holiday
1. have a buffer day
If you got back home 6pm last night and are planning to start work next day, well you’re already stretching yourself a little.
Give yourself at least a buffer day where you’re trying to get back into a routine. Take things slow and easy.
You might be enticed to get your sh*t together immediately, but trust me planning a buffer day will help you get there a whole lot faster.
2. set yourself up
There are so many life things that you need to take care of before your first day at work.
Use your buffer day to put your packed stuff back to where it belongs, do laundry, clean the house, buy groceries, plan your days, stuff like that!
Your home just needs some loving after the holidays.
And this will honestly reduce stress during your workdays too, because you know that at least the house if taken care of.
I mean, who wants to look at a dirty pile of laundry or wonder what to eat after your first day back at work after holiday?
3. do what’s easy to get into a routine first
You may have high hopes of getting back into your workout routine and finishing your to-do list on the first day back, but it’s not really the best approach.
Taking things slow and easy should be your mantra.
So, start adding a sense of routine to your days the minute you get back. And implement this with the easiest habits.
Whatever looks easy to you, of course!
Go to bed on your regular time, set your alarms for the morning, eat home cooked meals, or go on your evening walks.
These little hints of routine will signal your brain that you are back home and it’s time to get back to your regular life.
4. keep your morning free
If you’ve been around here, you already know my feelings about morning routines! It’s the best time to relax, set yourself up for a productive day, and have some me-time.
Keep your mornings before work free. This will really help you calm your mind before the storm that’s awaiting at work.
Don’t get up 5 minutes before you need to head out to work.
Have at least 1 hr in the morning to yourself. You don’t need to force yourself to start a morning routine yet!
Just do what comes easy to you, even if that looks like reading, or journaling, or going through the camera roll reminiscing the holiday memories.
Related Post : How To Start A Simple Morning Routine You’ll Stick To
5. Brain dump and highlight your top 3 priorities
Do a brain dump of ALL the tasks you need to get done.
This might be the last thing you want to do; to look at a list of 100 to-dos when you’re already feeling overwhelmed.
But in reality, having it all laid out on paper makes it easy to understand and come up with a plan to get things done.
Here are some tips that’ll help you be productive on your first day back at work after holiday :
Choose your top 3-5 things that you need to focus on the first week back. Things that’ll actually bring you the results, or are on a strict deadline.
Don’t get caught up on the busy work just yet. Only focus on the important work so you at least have the ball rolling.
- Only focus for less than 3 hrs
It’ll be difficult for you to focus on work. You might want to break into conversations about your holidays, or post stories of your trip.
And that’s okay!
Just set aside 2 hrs to work with no distractions. Lock your phone away, don’t talk to anyone, just work. And after that, you can get back to your old distracted self.
You’ll be shocked to see how much you can get done with just 2 hrs of focus work.
6. catch up on sleep
We all know how important sleep is but none of us pays enough attention to it!
Sleep alone can improve your focus and energy on your first day back at work after holiday.
Don’t stay up late, in fact, go to bed an hour earlier to catch up on sleep.
And if you’re having a difficult time to go to sleep (thanks to your messed up sleep schedule), use sleep meditation or essential oils to help your mind ease.
Also, don’t forget to set your alarms. The last thing you want to do is to miss your alarms on the first day back. If you’re a heavy sleeper, use this natural alarm clock that gradually increases light in your room to wake you up.
7. respond only to important mails
Check all your emails – you want to get caught up with everything that went on while you were away. But don’t get lost in the email spiral.
Only respond to the important ones. You don’t want to spend the entire day responding to other people, I’m sure you have a to-do list of your own as well.
Don’t forget to turn off your out of office mail as well 😉
8. keep the holiday spirit
Holidays are over but your spirit is still there! You don’t need to be all bummed out, instead just appreciate the good times.
Bring a vacation souvenir to work. Use your holiday stories as conversation starters today. People love hearing them!
Basically, use any excuse to stay in that happy zone a few more days!
9. Don’t broadcast your comeback
Stay low your first day at work!
Of course, have a meeting with your manager. Inform your important clients and team members to know what went down in your absence.
But don’t broadcast that you’re back so that you’re not bombarded with work from all directions. Give yourself some time to get in the go-go-go zone.
Only contact the most important people and they’ll update you on all your priorities.
10. Cut yourself some slack
There are 2 types of people back from a holiday : one that don’t wanna do any kind of work, and the other that wanna get it all done asap.
Either ways, you need to cut yourself some slack!
Here’s what to do :
- Take frequent breaks
Schedule 5-10 minute breaks every hour. Also, as mentioned in #5, expecting yourself to focus all day is pretty unrealistic. So allow yourself to take frequent breaks and don’t worry about it.
- Take it slow
Start your day with a slow and calm morning routine. One that helps you focus on yourself and prioritize your mental health. Similarly, use any excuse to practice self care throughout the day. Whether that looks like drinking more water, or having a bubble bath.
- Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks
This is THE most important point! Don’t feel guilty about taking breaks or taking it slow. You might feel like you’re not being your most productive self, but expecting yourself to go from 0 to 100 is a recipe for failure.
11. tackle tasks in batches
It’s easier that way! Instead of putting out fires and jumping from one task to another, it’s better to batch similar tasks together.
Set aside some time to go through and respond to emails, instead of checking them every 15 minutes.
Similarly, batch your creative and admin work separately. If it’s going to take you a long time to finish a certain category of tasks, maybe keep an entire day planned for those tasks.
Also, make sure your prioritize your tasks as well. You don’t need to finish everything at once!
12. keep a notebook by your side
This is one of my favorite productivity hacks! Keep a small notebook by your side at all times, especially the first week back. I love this pocket size spiral notebook.
Because there are so many tasks that’ll pop in your head, once you start working and going through the previous tasks.
So the next time a tasks pops in your head or on your screen, instead of leaving the current task and switching to a new one, simply write it down in the notebook.
This way you won’t forget about it, and you can deal with those tasks once you’re done with the current ones.
Related Post : How To Be Productive If You Get Distracted Way Too Easily
13. Stick to your Log off time
You might be enticed to keep working after 6, but it’s not a good idea for your ‘post holiday’ brain.
I mean, why would you try to overwork yourself the first day back?
Give yourself some grace, and log off on time! Hell, finish all the important tasks in the focus hour and maybe even log off early.
Make after-work plans with your friends so you can’t back out of it. And add some more fun and joy in your after work routine.
14. make it a short week
Don’t wait till Monday to return to work. Return to work on Thursday or Friday because well, you know.
The vibe is much better during the end of the week, haha. And you’d get enough time over the weekend to settle back in.
I know this might seem like cutting your trip short (If you were planning to stay on leave till Sunday) but it just gives you enough time to slowly transition your way back in.
By the time Monday comes, you’d already be in your routine for the past few days!
This post is all about how to ease into your first day back at work after holiday.