It’s the night before you have to go back to work and, after a few weeks of spending time with family or lazy days by azure ocean waters off some island, all you can think about is the long list of emails that require your attention; the work that awaits you, unfinished tasks and new projects—thinking about all of this can be quite daunting. To make sure that the first day back at work isn’t overwhelming, you need to have a game plan. We have put together a few tips to help you re-adjust and have a seamless as possible first week back at work.

 

Get enough rest

It is imperative that you get enough rest before you head back to work. Ideally, the weekend before work should be spent doing things that require minimal energy, things such as reading while listening to soothing music or watching your favourite series. Don’t stay up too late the night before work; it is advised that you get enough sleep so that you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle whatever tasks await you.  

 

Start with the simpler tasks

The first day back at work can be quite difficult so you have to be gentle with yourself; remember that your brain has been off work mode for a while—give yourself time. Start with the easy tasks that require minimal focus and energy. Start off with sorting through your emails and even then, don’t put pressure on yourself to sort through all of them all at once. Look at the subject of the emails and prioritise the ones that require your immediate attention then slowly work your way down your inbox as the days go by. Try sorting through 10 emails a day so that you can also carve out time to look at tasks that need to be started.

 

Put together a to-do list

Based on your emails or on the notes from your first meeting, put together a to-do list. Itemise your tasks according to priority and deadline; this will ease your anxiety and help you work through your list seamlessly. As you work through your to-do list, tick off completed tasks and reward yourself—acknowledging your efforts will give you a sense of accomplishment and it will motivate you to keep going.

Take breaks between each task

Get away from your desk, make some tea or go for a short walk. Give yourself time to recalibrate after working on a goal-oriented task.

Taking a break after completing a task is very important for maintaining your productivity and creativity levels. If you keep going without allowing your brain a chance to shut down for a few moments, you risk making mistakes, which will compromise the quality of your work.

Taking a break will also help you think through a problem that is affecting your ability to complete a task; as you take that much-needed breather, the solution might just find its way to your mind.

 

Don’t put pressure on yourself

It will take time to get back into a routine so be gentle with yourself. Remember to get enough rest, keep hydrated and try to eat as healthy as you possibly can. You cannot expect yourself to just plough through your work all at once; breathe easy and take your time—you will be back to your usual productive self in no time.