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7 ways to ease back into work

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Whether you just had Tuesday off this week, or managed to wrangle a four-day weekend over Hari Raya Haji, chances are you’re feeling less-than-enthused about heading back to the office.

It’s understandable. A public holiday falling mid-week is often a big concern for employers and staff members alike, as productivity slips and motivation and morale runs low.

But heading back to the office doesn’t have to be a chore with a little foresight and some simple productivity tips.

1. Do some serious pre-planning

This tip won’t help you much if you simply threw all your papers up in the air and yelled “I’m outta here!” before strolling out of the office, but chances are you still have some time to plan your Wednesday out well.

Update your priorities after your break and don’t worry too much about things that aren’t urgent. You’ve only got three more days this week, so fill them with the most pressing things to attend to.

2. Know your own energy

Are you one of those people who hops to it when returning to work, or are you a bit sluggish until about 11am? Schedule meetings and important catch-ups when you know you’ll be on the ball and you’ll have the time to clear away any urgent emails or phone calls.

3. Do the worst task first

Yes, the first day back sucks. But if you get that big, glaring, awful assignment, task or meeting out of the way nice and early, you’ll probably end up feeling a lot more relaxed about the rest of the day and week.

4. Get rid of the clutter

Hopefully you did this before you went away (because nothing is better than coming back to clean desk), but if not, spend 5 minutes before your day begins to clear away all the crap on your desk. You’ll feel like a new you!

5. Limit your work

Some people work better on their first day back by reserving it solely for catching up on past events. Perhaps it’s a good day to screen your phone calls and put those emails aside?

6. Eat light

This is more important than you might think, as bloating yourself with heavy meals and too much coffee (or lunchtime beers) is only going to slow you down and make you feel less productive. Eat healthy, work better.

7. Be realistic

If you’ve just come back from four days on an island with serious sunburn and sand still in your hair, your first day back is probably not going to be when you’re at your most efficient.

Be realistic with what you can get achieved and manage people’s expectations for what will get done and by when.

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Rebecca Lewis
Human Resources Magazine Singapore

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