Vacation time is over and it's back to work for lawyers and just about everyone else. But getting back to work is easier said than done.
Whether you traveled or stayed home, took time for yourself or spent time with family, time off can disrupt your daily schedule. That makes it difficult to jump back in and get to work.
No matter how you feel on your first day (or week) back from vacation, your boss is not going to want to hear any excuses. So it's time to arm yourself with ways to look more productive after a vacation, and maybe even be productive too:
Take care of yourself. If you're just coming back from a vacation, there's a good chance you aren't in great shape. Not getting enough sleep, feeling dehydrated from all those holiday cocktails, or missing your workout schedule can all affect your productivity. Jump back into healthy habits ASAP, and you'll see the rewards at work too.
Make a work resolution. It's a new year, which is as good a time as any to set new career goals. Maybe this year you want to get a promotion or move into a new practice area or finally learn to get along with your boss. Whatever it is, it won't happen if you don't work on it. Plus, making a new commitment will help shake off the feeling that your work is blah.
Clear your schedule. Everyone dreads that first time you open your email after a vacation or seeing your physical inbox that first morning. Move meetings and assignments so you keep your first day's schedule open. That way you can really tackle all the things that piled up in your absence and know what needs your attention the most.
Tackle big things first. While you're going through all that stuff that needs your attention, you have to figure out what needs your attention most. Make a list and decide which tasks are most important. You could waste all morning replying to emails, but taking care of bigger issues is what will make you look good.
Give yourself extra time. Things move a little more slowly right after vacation, so be aware of that when you give yourself deadlines or tell a colleague how long a task will take. Add in some wiggle room so you don't stress out trying to meet an unrealistic deadline. Then if you get it done in less time, you look even more competent.