Everyone loves a long weekend. However, the anticipation of some much needed time away from work may or may not prevent us from fully preparing ourselves for what we have to come back to at the office the start of the following week. Now, after being mentally checked out for the past 3 days, you’re back in the office, and this usually familiar spot behind your desk instead has you asking what the heck is going on. It’s not easy getting back into the swing of your usual routine, especially if weekend-mode you didn’t help prepare post-weekend you, but it is possible! Try some of these tips to be as most productive and efficient as possible when going back to work after a long weekend:
1. Clean your Desk!
You’re only making it tougher on yourself to get your bearings and get back to work when your space is just as jumbled as your mind may be upon return. Make space on your work surface and remove any unnecessary clutter to give yourself a fresh start to the week. It may help you discover some of those tasks you were too distracted to prep for last week.
2. Clean Up your To-Do List
If you did make yourself some notation on what needs to be accomplished for the week, try cleaning that up too. Often, we over-note certain tasks and reminders, so that we don’t miss anything, but as you get started, narrow down what things need to get done first and weed out the extras, so you can focus on what’s important first.
3. Stick to Your Routine
No matter how busy you may be or how much catching up you have to do, try not to deprive yourself of your usual breaks, nutrition, etc. that are part of your usual routine. The best way to get back into things is to stick to working the way you usually do, instead of trying to scramble and take on more than you’re used to. This more relaxed approach to your work will also help you evaluate which tasks should take priority and help you not miss anything along the way.
4. Check Your Calendar
There’s a good chance you don’t remember everything you had planned before the weekend. To make sure you don’t miss anything, take time to review your schedule to eliminate surprises and help yourself prepare for any meetings or conference calls you have on the horizon.
5. Schedule Time wtih Yourself
Reserve some of your own time to focus on getting your work back on track. Don’t let impromptu meetings or invites steer you away from what’s already on your plate. Make sure you schedule this time out of your calendar, so that others can’t take it; at least until you have your personal tasks underway and under control.
6. Give Yourself a Head-Start
It may not be the easiest task to commit to after a couple days off, but try and get to the office a little earlier than usual to give yourself time to regroup and get a jump start on your work before co-workers and clients begin requesting your attention. Give yourself a little advantage the week after a long weekend to make the transition back a little easier.