As the first of September┬árapidly approaches, many of us are returning from our annual summer break. As I found out personally, getting back up to speed after a week out isn’t as easy as it may seem.

Here are a few tips to help you keep your post-holiday relaxed state for just that little bit longer.

Before you go on holiday

This may be a little late for many of you… The trick to a smooth return is actually about how well you plan for your first week back BEFORE you go away. Here are some tips:

1.Compile a ‘must read on my return folder’ which contains

  • what you asked to get done while you were away
  • what you need to tackle within your first few days and week back

I will often do a ‘brain dump’ before I switch off my laptop before holidays. I then read this brain dump on my return to remind me what I need to be thinking about.

2. Diarise some time for catching up. You are always going to need some time set aside to go through emails, voicemails and the inevitable stuff which will appear on your desk whilst you are away. Try to put some time in your diary to do this rather than assuming that you will do this work on your last day of holiday.

Organise a catching up session with key stakeholders

Getting time in with the people who matter who can bring you quickly up-to-speed can help you integrate back in quickly. For example, this will include your PA, anyone holding the fort for you on particular projects and key clients.

Remember to take off your out-of-office messages and tell people you are back

I know I am teaching you to suck eggs, but do remember to record a new voicemail message and take off your email out of office message.

Turn your holiday intentions into reality

When you were away you probably took the time to reflect on your role, career and balance between work and home life. It is not unusual to commit to making some changes whilst you have been away. Don’t undo all of your thinking by just going straight back and doing what you always did. Give yourself one thing to do each day on your return to turn your holiday intentions into reality.

Prioritise the work which has built up whilst you have been away

It is inevitable that there will be work waiting for you on your return. It is also inevitable that there will be more work than when you left. Try to not move into firefighting mode. Take your time to prioritise what actually needs to be dealt with now, and what can wait until later in the week.

Good luck with your return to work!