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The holiday season brought some much-needed time away for most people. Days between Christmas and New Year’s are often spent sleeping in, indulging in your favorite foods, or lounging on a beach somewhere. Of course, as we kick off 2023, it’s time for most of us to get back to work.

The transition from vacation to work can feel daunting. Maybe work piled up while you were away, or it feels like there are never-ending emails to respond to. Regardless of your career, getting back to work after a vacation can take the shine off any job position.

Here are a few tips on transitioning back to work after taking time off.

Give Yourself a Buffer Day

While you were away or busy relaxing, you probably didn’t finish some of your daily household chores. To reduce stress, try to mark off time for other tasks that you can do before heading back to work, such as laundry or buying groceries. Doing so will allow you to return to the office feeling rested and ready to start working.

Getting caught up in the rushing to get everything ready for your first day back can lead to stress. Plan ahead, remember what tasks matter most to you, and help make your workday run smoothly by prioritizing those things.

Don’t Try to Tackle Everything

If you’re ready to start working after taking time off, congratulations. However, it’s important to remember that catching up on work after two weeks isn’t as easy as it sounds. Instead of rushing to get everything done, focus on setting realistic goals and prioritizing your tasks.

To ensure you’re on track, create a to-do list that includes all of the tasks you’ll need to complete on your first day back. Don’t get carried away by the idea of rushing to finish all of them. Instead, take it one step at a time. 

Clear That First Morning Back

You should avoid scheduling too many appointments during your first day back. Clearing your first morning back allows you to assess the urgent items on your list and tackle those before moving on to the next task.

You should also block off time on your schedule and take some time to check in with yourself. Are there any outstanding items on your to-do that you’re forgetting? Do you have everything you need to get back into the swing of things? Check the status of your projects, complete any leftover follow-up, and make a clear and realistic plan to get back on track and stay in gear in the new year.