Back to the Office: Make the Most of Your Vacation, Even Back at Work

Labor Day is almost here, and that means that summer is just about over. Hopefully you took some time to take a vacation, staycation, or whatever helps you relax and recharge. It’s important for our health, mentally and physically. Vacation helps reduce burnout, decreases our resentment of others, and actually helps us concentrate and make less mistakes once we’re back on the job.

So, all week we’ll be talking about “back to the office,” with tips and tricks to help you hit the ground running after your vacation. Perhaps the biggest (and best) thing you can do for yourself is to use the clarity that relaxation provides, before you get too bogged down in the details. A few things to think about, while you’re still feeling fresh and relaxed:

What are my realistic goals for the next six months? This can be both personal and professional – after all, it’s hard to separate these. Take this opportunity to reflect on what’s important to you, and think strategically about how you can get there. Write it down, and give yourself deadlines, not to give yourself a hard time, but to think about how you can (and will!) make progress.

If you had all the time you needed, what work would you do? Most of the time, it can feel like we’re working hard just to play catchup. Before you start to feel overwhelmed, think about what you’d really like to get done. And try to create a plan that can make it happen: can you delegate the work? How many hours a week would it really take? Try to create a realistic plan that will let you chip away at those big, looming projects before they start to seem impossible.

Forest, meet trees. Again, when we’re stressing the small stuff, it’s hard to think big picture. When you were on vacation, what did you think about work? Did you have any ideas or inspiration? Those are the ideas to write down and explore! They say that the best ideas happen in the shower, but really it’s because it’s relaxing. Think of vacation as one big idea-generating shower!

Begin a new habit or make a positive change. Sometimes it’s easier to start something new when we’ve just made a break from our regular routine. Use this opportunity to wake up a little earlier, get your inbox down to zero, or to give up some delicious treat that’s probably not the best for you.

That’s enough to get us started – we’ll be back with more tips this week, including home office ideas, work/life balance tips, stress management ideas, and fun gadgets to keep you productive and having fun even in the office.