7 tips to help you catch up with work when coming back from a vacation← Back to blog
The beach, the mountains, Florence, the Statue of Liberty or the Pyramids of Egypt are all now far away. Thousands of kilometers away. The starry nights of summer festivals with friends, the sleepless nights to stroll down amazing paths, the times in the pool with the grandparents, and the naps that last longer than ten minutes have all ended. Goodbye, vacations. It is time to get back in gear and return to work.
You get there on time, it is either seven, eight, or nine o clock. You greet everyone and you sit down in front of your work desk. You turn on your screen and then the horror starts: hundreds of emails have accumulated in your inbox. You turn on your work phone and your heart starts racing: dozens of calls and messages from those clients that did not go on vacation. Welcome back to work. You take a deep breath and start working. Returning to the office after taking a vacation is not easy, so when it happens to you, just remain calm and follow this series of tips that we are giving you:
- Ask your boss or superior. It is the first thing that you should do. Ask him or her if there is anything of special relevance, or something urgent that you should do first. Maybe they have returned to work before you, or they have been reviewing the emails. Also, you can ask your coworkers how these weeks have been going in your absence and you should find out at least a few things. Do not go to sit down at your desk immediately. Talk with others and they will tell you the important things that you missed. It always works.
- Check your emails and notifications. At first glance you will surely be able to identify three or four important topics. Select them and read them one by one, carefully. Write down the most important points or use Wudatime to create lists of tasks organized by projects.
- Organize your first day back at work This is very important to not become overwhelmed and having to work until three in the morning. Once you have read the most important emails, classify them into urgent, important, and not important.
- First, the urgent tasks Once you know where to start, make a To-do list . Simple and not super ambitious. Remember that at work, as with everything, you have to take it step by step. Identify what is really urgent and get to it. Start by checking the dates of the emails and who sent them to you. You already know your clients, so you will be able to needs to be replied to first and who can wait a few days.
- But do not overwhelm yourself. It is the first day back at work. No one expects you to do in four hours what you haven't gotten the chance to do in a week, 15 days, or a month. If you try to do everything, you will become exhausted and burn yourself out on the first day back. This is crucial.
- Set aside a timeframe for you to catch up. A week, for example. If you have time on the first day back, organize your whole week, set aside some time for you to adjust to getting back to work. A week should be enough to resolve everything that has not been taken care of in your absence. To reiterate, make sure you communicate with your colleagues. They will tell you better than anyone else what has happened while you were in Machu Picchu or in the medina of Marrakech
- Let your clients know. Not to all of them, but let at least the most important clients know that now you are back and they do not need to worry. Not receiving a response makes the majority of people nervous. A one line email should be enough. Let them know that you are back at work and that you will start to work on what they need from you and within two or three days they will receive a response. This will calm them down. And it will calm you down as well.
Above all, you do not want to do too much during your first days back at work. Keep in mind that there have been colleagues doing your work and that no one is truly indispensable. Charge your batteries, enter with energy, organize yourself well, prioritize and within a week you'll be all caught up and ready to pick up from where you left off. Forget the nostalgia of being on vacation and those crystal blue waters of Formentera. It is time to go back to real life.