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How to Prepare for Work After a Vacation

08 November 2021

Even before taking a vacation, you already mull about all the work that would have piled up after your break. You question whether it’s even worth taking the time off when it would just make you less inefficient. Once you’re back, there’s the full inbox and the need to readjust your mindset and your body to get back to the groove—the stress may even warrant you clamoring for another break. 

But hey before you fall into that overthinking loop, relax. You can take your vacation without worrying too much about work by preparing for it even before the vacation happens. Here are a few steps to do before you take your vacation. 

Before The Vacation 

Schedule your tasks. 

Sit down and assess your to-do list. First, in your FlexiSpot Magnetic Dry Erase Board, separate from the list those tasks that have been taking you forever to accomplish. It’s time to accept that these aren’t main tasks and maybe be done someday in the future, or even never. You have to concentrate on your main tasks and this is what you will queue and schedule based on priority once you’re back in the office from your vacation. Set it up in your calendar with alarms and alerts so that you won’t forget the specific date and time you’ve chosen to accomplish a task. 

Aside from your main priorities, you should also make a list of easy tasks to be done in the first week that you’re back from work. This will help you not to get overwhelmed and be filled with something to do while you wait for your mental state to be back in shape for work. 

What you need to do first is to choose which projects to finish before your break and which projects to finish when you return. This will help you have some interesting tasks to fulfill once you’re back. 

Once you’ve chosen these unfinished projects, write each one in a post-it and pin it on your FlexiSpot Cork Board Bulletin Board. Below each task, write a note where you’ll start with the project again. Harvard Business Review says that “it’s easier to ease yourself into the next step of a project that’s already underway than to start from a blank page.” 

Don’t pressure yourself when you return to work from a break or vacation.

Or translated as lowering your expectations and those of others so that you and them won’t get frustrated when vacation time is over or disappoint your colleagues while you’re on vacation. It’s important to set up an away message to tell your colleagues and clients that you’re on vacation and you’ll get back to their concerns once it’s done. Already give them a heads-up that you might not be able to get back to their email once you’re back so they should leave you an email again on this date so that they can be assured of a response from you. 

Carefully plan how you’ll ease back into work on your first week returning from vacation. 

Avoid back-to-back meetings when you return from a break by blocking off time slots in your first week. It’s also the time to schedule meet-ups, short brunch, or catch-up dinner dates with your friends or close colleagues so that there will be something for you to be excited about upon your return. 

After doing all these steps, it’s time for you to log off and enjoy your vacation without thinking about work. You’re on break and you deserve the time off so don’t ruin it by worrying about workload. And once you return from vacation, you can ease back into work by following these three steps. 

After The Vacation

Don’t rush and take your time. 

When you’re back in the office or to work at home, don’t immediately remove your automatic vacation email response. Leave it there for 1-2 days so that you would be able to manage the expectations of your workmates and clients in terms of getting a response from you. Don’t fully return as well to the office chat or mode of communication. Give it some time or slowly ease back to it by responding at least once a day. It’s also helpful to leave your chat messaging apps on “Do Not Disturb” mode so you could quietly return to work after a rejuvenating vacation. 

Do what you have to do to make work fun. 

This really depends on your personality and idea of how to make work fun. You can use the first week to do some tasks you’ve put off doing such as cleaning your desk or arranging your files in colorful labels. Understandably, your brain may still be elsewhere so use this time to do enjoyable things at work. You can also finally use your FlexiSpot Mobile File Cabinet CB2 to organize your items and files in one place. You may also listen to music to set the mood while at it. 

Take your mind off the pain of being back to work by distracting yourself. 

This may not be taken as the best advice but allow yourself to get distracted a little so that you won’t ponder on having to return to work when you still want to be on vacation. As said above, you may listen to a playlist to uplift your mood. You may watch a short funny video online, or peek into social media when you just can’t take the feeling of being back to work. This allowance will let you engage with your colleagues and superiors better, without holding a grudge against anybody or the fact that you have to work from 9 to 5 again. 

Final Thoughts 

We all need that vacation to recharge and let our brains and bodies take a break. Take the guilt off of taking a break by looking at it as your help for the company to experience working with you at your optimal performance. And since you’ll be on vacation, be a professional and prepare your work even before the break starts!