How to Have a Productive First Day Back from Vacation

posted in: Productivity 2

Image of blue sky and buildings and phrase, How to Have a Productive First Day Back from VacationYou’ve just arrived back home from an incredible vacation.

You’re due back at work on Monday, and you want to start things off on the right foot after your long break.

The only problem? Just where do you begin?

In this post, I offer a few pointers to help you have a productive, and reasonable, first day back from vacation.

Avoid scheduling meetings on your first day back.

The last thing you want to do after a long, relaxing vacation is to be thrown headfirst into a meeting…totally, and completely unprepared.

Do yourself a favor, and avoid scheduling any and all meetings on your first day back from vacation.

Opt for meetings on your second or third day back instead.

If you absolutely must schedule a meeting on your first day back, try to schedule it later in the day, so you can at least catch up on a few other items in the office.

Make a list of three to-do items.

Want to avoid a to-do list meltdown? Say goodbye to slogging through pages of to-do items and try this instead: create a short to-do list.

Make sure the items can be taken care of in a single sitting. Once you’re done with those items, create another list, and so on.

You’ll be able to get things done, without getting overwhelmed.

Process email in batches.

We all know emails pile up like crazy when you go on vacation. Who says you have to sit through all those messages in one setting?

Try processing your email in batches, say, twenty minutes at a time.

After the first email batch, try doing another task for a change of pace, such as opening your postal mail, resetting your voicemail and email away messages, and the like.

Take your breaks.

Yes, you were just on vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to play the hero and skip your lunch or work breaks.

Your work waited for you while you were out on vacation, and it can wait just another hour more. Stop what you’re doing and take your full lunch break, and any other regularly scheduled breaks. 

While you’re at it, make sure you leave work on time. Staying longer than you need to will just add-on more stress and frustration to your day.

How about you? What do you take care of first on your first day back from vacation? Checking in with colleagues, going through your email, perhaps something else entirely? Join in the conversation and leave a comment below!

Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.

2 Responses

  1. Jiliane
    |

    great topic and tips!

    • Rashelle
      |

      Thanks, Jiliane. Happy to hear you liked the post!