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Getting Back Into Work Mode After the Holidays

By: Eileen Guo

The week before a holiday is often the busiest week of the year. We become super-productive as we crack through our to do list in an attempt to clear everything before we leave. We want to make sure that we have communicated with everyone and tied up any loose ends.

In contrast, the first few days back from holiday can often be our least productive days. We can feel demotivated. We often don’t feel ready to resume our normal hectic pace. We can find it hard to get back into “work mode”. All the details that were so clear before we left can seem very blurred on our return. So, how can we take control and be productive after our holiday?

1. Prepare the ground before you leave 

The trick is to spend time planning the first days back before you finish up. At this point, you are tuned into the finer details of every project or issue, so this is the best time to record as much detail as you can. Prepare notes for upcoming meetings, jot down key points for reports, make draft plans for things you need to tackle that first week back. Expect to (temporarily) forget most of the knowledge in your head, as that is the purpose of your holiday after all.

2. Be strategic with your return schedule 

Some people like to ease back into things with a low-key schedule, but I find the opposite works best for me. I arrange a couple of key meetings so that I have to get back into a productive mode quickly. I don’t welcome this on my first morning back, but by the end of the day, I am glad.

3. Make the most of your relaxed mind

If you have successfully switched off during your holiday, your account will probably be free from all the usual stress and clutter. Some of the best ideas come to mind when you can see things more clearly and objectively. 

About Eileen Guo

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