After spending a week or two doing nothing but sitting by the pool or spending time with family, going back to work is a bit of a shock. It’s a universal problem that faces everyone from CFOs to cleaners and every single one in-between. So how can you quickly beat the holiday blues and get back into the work routine?
Start a day late
One of the most useful tactics we know of beating the holiday blues is to tell everyone (except your boss) that you’re back a day later than you actually are. That way you have at least one day to tidy up your desk, catch up on emails and do anything urgent before the routine begins again. Clearing the decks for a day makes for a much faster reintegration.
Make a list of priorities
On your first real day back, make a list of all impending tasks and prioritise them in order of importance, due date, preference or whatever. As long as everyone gets what they need by the time they need it, the actual order is up to you. Lists help in every aspect of our professional lives so make good use of them.
Avoiding distractions until you’re caught up will shorten the holiday blues immensely. While it might be tempting to check Facebook or Twitter every hour or share your holiday photos with colleagues, leaving it a while enables you to catch up quickly and reduce that overburdened inbox. The quicker you shorten your to-do list, the happier you will feel.
Leave on time
You are entitled to a holiday and you deserve time away from work. Just because you have just come back from a relaxing break doesn’t mean you should feel guilty, work harder or stay longer at the office. Keep your hours sensible, leave on time and don’t feel guilty about it.
Leaving on time also avoids work shock, where you spend all of the daylight hours in the office. Most schools start midweek so pupils can ease back into the flow, you should do the same if you can.
Listen to music
If you can listen to music while at work you should. There are multiple studies showing music helps happiness, mood, productivity and more, so embrace the music if you can. It also helps you focus on the task at hand while minimising distractions.
Enjoy the memories, don’t lament their passing
A useful mind hack for beating holiday blues is to celebrate the time off and what experiences it gave you rather than feeling sorry because it’s over. Take a photograph with you to work, change your desktop wallpaper if you can and celebrate the fact you just enjoyed a great holiday. Time passes and you’re back at work now. It’s much easier to work with that fact than against it!