Purpose Wellbeing

6 Strategies to Survive Back to Work After a Vacation

It’s sweet summertime, and there is no better time to enjoy a vacation. Try these six strategies to survive getting back to work.

The Challenge

Whether it's two weeks or two days, getting back to work from spending time away can be a challenge. Our advice: enjoy your vacation, and then come back to work clear-minded and ready to go. These strategies can help in your transition from rest to routine.

1. Make a list of your tasks and projects before you leave. This will give you a clear picture of what needs to be done before you leave the office, and where to pick up when you return to work.

2. Set your out-of-office email and voicemail message. If colleagues or clients are looking for you, they will receive an automatic message and know not to expect an immediate response from you. Take this one step further, and include common FAQs and information about who to contact in your absence. Your colleagues and clients will appreciate having someone designated in your absence, and will feel better knowing they are well taken care of.

3. Take an extra day off. When you’re returning from vacation on a Sunday and then starting work on a Monday, that doesn’t leave much room for routine tasks that will allow you to feel prepared for the week. Start your day with a regular start time and a healthy breakfast. Pick up groceries, get laundry done, and tidy up around your home. Pick out your clothes for the next day, and treat yourself to an early bedtime.

4. Give yourself a buffer day. For your first day back to the office, block it from appointments or meetings so that you can focus on jumping back into a routine. Spend this time working your way through priority emails, tasks and projects.

5. Organize your space. When you step into the office, you may find a pile of notes, reports and files on your desk. Take a few moments to sort through the information, and identify which items require your attention. Toss what you no longer need, and take action on the items that remain.

6. Take a breath. It’s easy to get lost in the guilt and anxiety of “falling behind” at work - women in particular suffer from this. Yes, you were gone for a few days. Yes, it’s going to take a few moments to refocus and move ahead. Take it one task at a time, one day at a time. You will be back in the swing of things before you know it. Time to start planning your next vacation!

Tools Needed


Get Together

1. Solicit suggestions from Sisters about their tips and tricks to prepare for a smooth transition back to work after a vacation.

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