Are you returning from a holiday, back to a hectic schedule at work and at home? Here’s how to ‘land gently’ and get back to your productive best. 

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.

The post holiday blues 

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?

“Maintain some of your holiday buzz by doing something you enjoy like a cinema trip, a spa treatment or a meal out.”

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.

be productive moira dunne

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.

Consider what works best for you, your role and your environment. But be prepared to challenge yourself if you need to.

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. So use this rare state of mind to do some creative thinking and planning. But be careful; you can sometimes be too free-thinking and unrestrained that first day back. Make sure you don’t upset anyone by speaking too openly or honestly.

“If you usually exercise regularly try to resume this on your first day back.”

4. Resume your routines that work 

It can take some time to get back into productive habits when you first return. If you usually exercise regularly try to resume this on your first day back. Enable your healthy eating habits by building in time to visit the supermarket before you go back to work so you can set yourself up for a healthy week.

5. Be nice to yourself 

If you have the flexibility, reward yourself for being productive with an early finish time those first few days back. Maintain some of your holiday buzz by doing something you enjoy like a cinema trip, a spa treatment or a meal out.

So have a great holiday and let me know if any of these tips work for you. 

Article by Moira Dunne, BeProductive.ie.