TAP In with Tristan : 4 Tips For A Stress-Free Return To Work After Time Off

Tristan ​talks about easing back into work after some time off. Many of us take quite a bit of time off at the end of the year to relax and enjoy family and friends. During this time, we try to enjoy ourselves and forget about work entirely, but when the time comes to return, it can be really tough. Here are a few tips to help your return be as easy, stress-free, and productive as possible!

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TRANSCRIPT

Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. Today, let’s talk about easing back into work after some time off.

Many of us take quite a bit of time off at the end of the year to relax and enjoy family and friends. During this time, we try to enjoy ourselves and forget about work entirely, but when the time comes to return, it can be really tough. Here are a few tips to help your return be as easy, stress-free, and productive as possible.

First, plan ahead for your return. After being off for some time, rushing in the morning to get to work can start your day off poorly. Try to make your morning easier by gathering all the things you need for work the night before and putting them in your bag. If you take your lunch or snacks, prepare them the night before and set out what you plan on wearing. In doing this, you ensure the morning you return goes smoothly.

Next, set up a “delay” message. Upon your return, you’re probably going to be working on catching up on projects and clearing emails. Consider setting up an auto-response for your new emails, letting them know you will respond within 24 hours. This will give you enough time to focus on catching up without being pressured to reply to all new emails immediately. When you need to answer critical and time-sensitive emails, you can do that during a scheduled email check, which I’ll talk about momentarily.

Next, triage your email inbox. If your inbox is anything like mine after a break, you have tons of emails. Some require immediate attention, others can wait until later, and some don’t require any action but just keep you in the loop. Try to decrease the size of your inbox by triaging emails. Many of the emails will be entirely unnecessary, like mailing lists, emails we were CC’d on that have nothing to do with us, links to funny videos, and the list goes on and on. Try to be fairly ruthless in deleting or archiving as many of these as you can. Also, if you took the advice of putting on a delay auto-response, set aside some time maybe once in the morning and once in the afternoon to read new emails that arrive and triage them too. It’s important to remember not to fall into the trap of responding just because an email arrived; it can be a productivity drain. Remain focused and only respond to new emails that are urgent.

Lastly, drink lots of water. I know you’re probably like, what? But your brain is composed of nearly 75% water, so it needs water to optimally function. Studies show that dehydration, even as small as 1%, can result in a 12% drop in productivity, and a drop of 4% in hydration can decrease productivity by up to 50%. So, bring a water bottle with you to work and make sure it is visible on your desk to remind you to drink regularly throughout the day.

This tip is brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.

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