Six Simple Tools to Efficiently Manage
Post Vacation Overwhelm
Getting back into the office routine after vacation can be a real challenge but it can be accomplished efficiently. The best way to do it is to shake away the procrastination temptation and jump right into the day-to-day routine. Below are six simple tools that can help do that.
1. Make a plan. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by emails, projects and tasks that demand your attention as soon as you get in the office. Beat overwhelm by creating a plan of things to do and by prioritising work realistically. An efficient way of doing this is to use the Eisenhower Productivity Matrix and organize work in 4 quadrants:
Do the Urgent and Important
Plan the Important but Not Urgent
Delegate (ask someone to help) the Urgent but Not Important
Delete the Not important and Not Urgent
Devoting time to plan will help maintain a calm attitude and control the work that needs to be done. Focusing your energy on the urgent and important tasks ensures better quality of output and actual time saving.
2. Stay hydrated. Chances are that after vacation your body is dehydrated because of random food, caffeine and alcohol consumption, being out in the warm weather, not to mention sunbathing. Dehydration may make you feel tired and undermine your efforts to get things done in the office. Drink lots of water to keep your body energetic and your brain alert. Keep a big bottle of water on your desk and drink regularly (one glass every hour). It is amazing how having the bottle right on your desk serves as a reminder plus you don’t have to visit the kitchen all the time.
3. Eat healthy. Invariably, vacation carries with it a slack in healthy dietary habits. It is important to go back to healthy eating as soon as possible. Consuming lots of green vegetables keeps the body hydrated and contributes to an overall energetic mood of getting things done. We feel light and healthy and this boosts our confidence.
4. Exercise! It should come to no surprise that body movement helps shake off post vacation sluggishness. A simple walk in the park, jogging, yoga or going to the gym will work wonders in building up energy levels and confidence.
5. Sleep well. Normalising your sleep after vacation can be challenging but a good night’s sleep is key to waking up feeling rested and ready to tackle the day ahead. Make sleeping well a priority by:
going to bed at a regular time,
allowing for at least 7 hours of night sleep, and
keeping the bedroom cool and dark.
6. Oxygenate your brain. Brain thrives on oxygen. Taking deep, diaphragmatic breaths with elongated exhales increases oxygen supply and turns on the parasympathetic nervous system or “relaxation response” mode and turns off the “stress response” or the overactive sympathetic nervous system (known as fight or flight). Being able to choose the relaxation response over the stress response, calms post vacation anxiety and lowers the risk of stress-related conditions in general. A good way to insert this into the daily office routine is to set alerts on your mobile phone to be reminded to take frequent breathing breaks throughout the day.
Following these simple tools will help getting through the first days of returning to the office post vacation. Keep using them in order to feel energized and be productive until the next vacation.