You know how it is – just as you get really comfortable on vacation and think this is your new life, it’s time to leave and get back to work. Nothing is better than a well-deserved vacation. No matter if you go camping, on a luxury cruise, or even take a staycation, it can be difficult sometimes to get back into the groove of work after having taken time off. But, you can do it if you know what to expect and plan for it.

Use a Day to Get Prepared

You can either start on the last day of your vacation or you can work into your vacation an extra day at home that helps you get back into things. You can even use travel time to get back into the groove if you have the technology. However you manage it, on that day, make a list of priorities that you want to accomplish when you get back to work, then email contacts and tell them you’ll be back working the following day and how much you’re looking forward to it. If appropriate, share your list with them.

Check Your Email

The night before you return to work is a great time to go through your emails, turn off your auto vacation responder, and start organizing and answering any important emails. This activity will get your mind focused back on work, and help you get back into the groove fast. You can also put out any fires that may have been kindling while you were gone before your first day to avoid any trouble on your first day back.

Make Contact with Your Team

The night before you’re back to work full time, email your team a bit about your vacation, invite them to ask questions and inform you about anything that happened while you were gone and schedule a team meeting. Mention upcoming deadlines, projects, and anything of note and praise them for a job well done while you were gone.

Plan Out a New Project

If you pre-plan a new project to start on the day of your return, having already calendared in the work that needs to be done, you’ll be able to start running on your first day back. Sometimes what happens is that we wind down everything, clearing our plates prior to vacation without planning for the time after vacation. If you don’t make that mistake, you’ll be able to jump right back into work with the list of items you need to accomplish already being scheduled.

Finally, acknowledge that coming back from vacation can be difficult, but if you plan a couple of luncheons out of your office with friends after your return it will give you an extended feeling of fun and laughter. Plus, it will help you reconnect with your environment and friends once the vacation is over. It can be very isolating going back to work, especially if you work from a home office, so scheduling the luncheons can be very therapeutic.

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