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Every year it is the same doldrums, as the dolce vita of summer gives way to the daily grind in September. The resurgence of COVID-19 cases in large cities doesn't make things any easier this year. We have a couple of tips to help avoid your post vacation blues.
All good things come to an end, and you are now back to work. Although you have had the chance to recharge your batteries during the vacation, returning to the hustle and bustle is no stroll in the park. It is only understandable for an overflowing email inbox and an unending to-do list to put you down. Yet, the proverbial "nice and easy" does it.
Ready for your return
Understandably, many people do their best to delay the return to the city as much as possible. Maybe going back home the day before work begins. In fact, it might be a better idea to return one or two days in advance. Aim for a more gradual transition in order to overcome the post vacation blues.
After the holiday, you can get your household chores, such as cleaning and laundry, before returning to work in those days. Furthermore, this buffering process at home will help you overcome jet lag.
Since remote work seems set to continue, you might for instance use those days to set up an ideal working space at home.
As much as possible, try to isolate it from your living areas so as to minimize distractions while working. Shopping for some stationery and office materials to pamper yourself might also be uplifting.
Talking about keeping things gradual, a good idea would be not to schedule important meetings or video calls in the first couple of days.
Obviously, you have not recuperated your full concentration just yet. Instead, you could spend time on less demanding tasks such as reading and sorting out emails.
This way, you will be aware of what is going on while you are away. If you have received brief or meeting summary emails, working on them can speed up the return to work process. And you can rerun the show.
A suggestion for you to overcome post vacation blues:
- Create a list of issues to be addressed in the short term while you're looking through your inbox.
- Try to prioritize these, and break them down into more achievable, bite-sized tasks. Once you create a shortlist, you could use time management software to keep track of your progress.
- By tracking your time with an efficient tool such as BeforeSunset, you'll be aware of your tasks. And you can analyze how much time you need to allocate to a specific project. Moreover, your time reports can be helpful for your teams future efforts. Your project manager can also easily see your hard work. And you can even rewarded for it.
- At the weekend, when you check out your weekly progress report, you might be surprised to see that you have already warmed up.
But, do not forget that:
"The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities."
EASE YOUR WAY BACK TO WORK
Another good idea is to try to keep the holiday spirit alive for as long as possible.
For instance, you can decorate your table with souvenirs that remind you of your vacation memories. The human mind enjoys assigning meaning to objects. These modest entertainments can help you cope with the stress of returning to work as long as they aren't distracting.
Keep Having Fun!
Or, you might plan a back-to-work breakfast or dinner among colleagues from work. This will not only make the transition smoother but also help you touch base with your teammates and learn what everyone is up to. Also, new opportunities in your immediate environment might come under your radar.
While out to dinner with your colleagues, talk about your vacation. I'm sure your co-workers are curious as well. Then you'll recall the amusing things that occurred on your vacation. And you'll be able to deliver a speech that will make the entire table laugh! Your co-workers will begin to tell their own experiences, and you will all bond over a common interest. A strengthened co-worker-friendship bond can assist you in the return process.
Don't speed up your tempo immediately
You probably should not rush to sign up for some challenging CrossFit class right away on the fitness front.
Instead, you might want to take it slow, adding softer exercises like pleasant strolls or yoga to your routine. These could elevate your energy levels and make sure you spend some quality time by yourself, as was the case during the vacation.
If possible, try to take short breaks during the day during the first days of returning to work. A direct and uninterrupted 8-hour shift can be frustrating in the early days of returning to work. Taking pauses during the day can be a relaxing treatment if you work from home and can stretch your working hours a little. Taking a 10-minute coffee break every 3 hours can help you cope with stress.
Advice: Reduce your coffee consumption!
Consider how many cups of coffee you consume daily at work. Large cups of filter coffee consumed before work, throughout meetings, during lunch breaks, and in the afternoons while trying to finish the workday… You could be putting a lot of pressure on your heart and adrenals. Instead, make an effort to boost your water intake. You can also get your daily caffeine boost by drinking mate tea. In the long run, you will notice the difference.
As the first days pass, and you gradually ease your way back to work, it might be time to broaden your horizons. Freshly energized, you may feel emboldened to take on new challenges. Consider whether it is a good time to hone your skills by signing up for some training. Launch new projects, or maybe fix your gaze on potential clients.
Don't rush anything, but if you set yourself one or two medium-term career goals to achieve until next summer, it could shed a whole new light on your professional landscape. Why not, this year might be the right time to step out of your comfort zone.
Try BeforeSunset now and start to be more productive!