Career

How To Get Back Into Work Mode After A Holiday

Holidays take some planning: first you need to apply for time off, be granted leave, plan your holiday, book your flights, pack your bags and get to the airport – all before you can start to relax. So, while you’re kicking back beachside somewhere, work is (understandably) the last thing you’d like to think about. Right now, all that should be occupying your mind is focussing on soaking up some sun and enjoying yourself.

Unfortunately, returning to the daily grind is inevitable, and how well you prepare yourself can determine how well you slot back in to day-to-day life. If you’re about to go on holidays or have just come back from one, here are some helpful tips on how to cope when heading back to the nine-to-five.

Change your email settings

This one’s a precautionary measure, so if you’re about to head on a holiday listen up. If you just got back and turning on out-of-office autoreply slipped your mind – we will say a silent prayer for you.

Nobody wants to answer emails when they’re away, and nobody wants to return to an inbox full of angry clients who have been persistently and furiously typing away obscenities at you. There is however a solution – turn on your bloody out-of-office settings. Simple.

Stick to your old routine

Trying to recall what exactly you do at work after some time away might prove to be a little difficult – especially when you’re still suffering from the very real condition of holiday brain.

The best way to ensure you aren’t falling behind is to write down your entire daily routine, and break it down into a daily schedule – what are your daily tasks and how long do they usually take to complete?

Having this in front of you will not only tell you everything you need to do for the day, but will also give you the motivation to get it done! If you give yourself an hour to complete a task, it’s almost a competition between past you and present you – and if you’re grossly competitive like me, being beaten by a less superior you just isn’t an option 

Create a to-do list

I don’t care what anyone says, a well-organised list can solve almost all life’s problems. The simplest way of ensuring that all of the most important jobs get done is to prioritise the routine schedule you made earlier into another list which ranks your tasks from most important through to least important.

If you start ticking your way through this list from as soon as you get to work, chances are you will get the most important stuff done before you leave. Sure, it might make for a more stressful day, but hey – at least it will make tomorrow more relaxed.

Schedule some contingency time 

OK, so trying to jump back into work mode isn’t always going to be an easy feat, and it’s totally fine to be a bit slow off the mark, but it pays to make room for the sluggishness.

All this might mean is heading into work a little earlier or staying a little later to ensure all of those important tasks that have piled up get done. Sure, it’s annoying having to stay at work longer, but it’s better than feeling super overwhelmed all day.

Embrace the post vacation blues  

Post-holiday blues are all too real – who wants to spend their time replying to emails when, just yesterday, their biggest dilemma was to nap now or later? You can let it get you down, or you can just embrace it.

The entire reason you’re so bummed about being back to reality is because you has such a good time away. Holidays can’t last forever, and it’s important to count your blessings and be content in the fact that you were able to get the time off to hang out and relax

If you’re still bummed, just start planning your next holiday – that always works too.

Hopefully now you feel a little better equipped returning to work after a holiday.


Bradley is a writer from Newcastle who enjoys Tina Fey comedies, is an avid cheese advocate and a connoisseur of cheap red wine.