Back from vacation: Making re-entry painless as possible

Sun, fun … then back to your desk. Amazing how quickly that vacation high ends when you return to work!

But at the same time, getting back into the groove can be slow-going.

Before you go, after you’re backOverwhelmed Office Worker

Fortunately there are some steps you can take before you leave and after you return to make post-vacation re-entry easier and more productive. Consider sharing these with your team as well:

  • Make your to-do list work for you. One of the last things to do before you leave? Make a thorough to-do list for your first days or even week back. You’ll likely be in a bit of a vacation haze when you return – this list will jog your memory.
  • Pick a quick win. At the top of that to-do list? One of your easier or more interesting projects that needs to be completed. It will give you an early and painless win.
  • Go big. Here’s one for before you leave the office for vacation: Begin a large project that requires some creative thinking. You’ll be surprised when you get back how many creative solutions bubbled up while you took time away.
  • Don’t be so literal with that out-of-office message. Maybe you can’t hide out for a couple of extra days, but consider leaving your out-of-office email on for the first day (or half-day) you’re back. That’ll let you catch up a bit.

(Adapted in part from “What to Do Before a Vacation to Make Sure Coming Back to Work Isn’t Pure Agony,” by Corinne Purtill, at