13 Jan 2014

5 tips for making the return to work tolerable

As much as we all (should) enjoy our jobs, backpacking through Thailand, resting up on a tropical island resort, or touring the museums of Paris is always going to top invoicing, deadlines, and client meetings as far as live experiences are concerned. So what’s the best way to get over the post-holiday blues and back into the groove where the job feels both productive and rewarding? Here’s five easy steps to get back on track.

1)      Use the first couple of days back to get on top of what you’ve missed.

Hit up the trade publications around your sector and make sure you haven’t missed any breaking news while you’ve been away. Click through the emails and respond to anything important. Clear out the voicemail. Depending how many emails are sitting in the inbox (if you’re anything like us it’s a thousand for every week away), this process might write off the first couple of days back, but you’ll emerge the other end with a firmer idea of what needs to be done and where the opportunities are, and that sets up some momentum for when the work starts in full.

2)      Avoid the usual routines for the first couple of weeks.

You’re not going to be in any frame of mind to plonk down in the chair and start tapping away at the keyboard for eight hours a day immediately after a break. So don’t do it. Pick up the laptop, head down to the café and do some work with a cappuccino and casual atmosphere around you. Alternatively, get some fellow post-holiday blues workmates together and have a lunchtime brainstorming session. Setting yourself up in an environment that feels a little like a holiday and taking advantage of mobility technology will help ease you back into the regular work routines, without actually compromising how much work you’re doing.

3)      Get a new hobby.

Use the time after work to start something new. A new hobby will be exciting, engaging, and entertaining, and will help put to bed any feelings that you’re returning to the “same old routine” for the next year. It doesn’t need to be a long term commitment, but then having hobbies outside of work is an essential part of life anyway, so you might just find something to do in your spare time by picking up something a little crazy to escape the post-holiday blues.

4)      Update your business plan.

If you work on a July-June financial year, your business plan will now be 6 months old – it’s a great time to review this now that you have a clear head and can realistically say what you will achieve in the last two quarters of the year. You will feel better once you have your priorities and major initiatives in order, and it will give you a better idea of where to focus your energy.

5)      Plan the next trip!

We’ve saved the simplest but most effective for last: the best way to recover from the post-holiday blues is to start planning the next trip! When you get home, jump on the Internet to research travel trips or ask questions on traveller’s forums will help give you something inspirational to look forward to on your next break.