We’re all going on a summer holiday…. 🎵

But what about when the holiday ends?! Does anyone else spend the last few days of their holiday thinking about emails, the workload they’re coming back to or that meeting you scheduled before you went away but now wish you hadn’t?! 👋 Essentially, the “Sunday Night Blues” on steroids, sound familiar?

Well, don’t fear this is not necessarily a sign that you’ve fallen out of love with your job; although it could be that too, you can LOVE your job and still feel a huge sense of overwhelm at the prospect of going back to work after a week or two off.

Fortunately, I love my job, but it still takes me a day or two to settle back into the swing of things so here are my top tips on overcoming those annual leave blues….

PACK YOUR BAG & GET ORGANISED

The night before the first day back go through your bag, chances a re you threw it in a corner the day your leave began, and you haven’t looked in it since. Now is a good time to sift through the bag, remove anything you no longer need and place everything in neatly. Honestly, a de-cluttered bag does wonders for your mental health!

If you work remotely, consider the state of your desk space?! Did it get a thorough once over before your leave began, if not schedule some time to de-clutter your workspace; get your laptop, charger and any other working day equipment you may need set up the night before.

PRIORITISE

Know you’re unlikely to complete a week or twos worth of work in your first 8 hours back, so, prioritise what is important. Make a list of 3 or 4 things you MUST do, once those are done continue to work your through the list; on that note create a list, seriously, it’s a miracle worker and a great way of off-loading the cluster in your brain.

DON’T SCHEDULE AN EXTERNAL MEETING FOR THE FIRST TWO DAYS BACK

This one might be a little moot if those meetings are already booked in, sorry! But worth bearing in mind for next time.

External meetings, consider this: is it vital? What are the repercussions if this meeting is pushed back by a day or so? Will my business be impacted if this meeting is not held immediately on my return?

If none of the above break your business, or off-set you as an employee who doesn’t care, I highly encourage you to get your feet under the table before you go full-steam ahead with external meetings. An external meeting often comes with an encumberment of additional “to-dos” which may lead to workplace overwhelm and more important tasks falling to the wayside.

BOOK A MEETING WITH YOUR INBOX

Before you leave, or when you return, block out a chunk of time to tackle your inbox. Mark yourself as offline / in a meeting and get to work deleting, filing, responding etc… thank me later 😉

MAKE THE MOST OF SUPPORTIVE COLLEAGUES

I often feel guilty about leaving a handover or passing on unfinished business to a colleague, I worry that something might come up and the answer may not be obvious! But what goes around comes around, and I hope like me you work in a collaborative culture where you support each other through the expected and unexpected.

Plan a meeting at some point in your first morning so your colleague or colleagues can hand back and update you; don’t take offence if they breathe an audible sigh of relief as they do so!

Top tip: leave a solid handover, and plan for every eventuality you can think of! 💡 As one of my colleagues often says “well, they’ve left me with war & peace”

P.S watch this space on how to leave a handover blog post 😉

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

Rome wasn’t built in a day; come Friday you’ll be saying “what annual leave”, so take comfort in this and know the first week back may not be the most productive week of your life but you returned, and you’re getting through and you’re acting!

Finally, think ahead, before you return to work write down or mentally recap all the things you LOVE about your job and the responsibilities within your role! This will help you focus and get ready for the week ahead.

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