Yesterday was my “Monday” and honestly, it wasn’t even really that since this is essentially a short week for me. I drew the short stick and had to work the late shift on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, but I have some vacation time left to use this year so I took a few days off after the holiday. Thankfully, Black Friday is a building holiday for us so I was able to get a solid 6 days off of work while only having to use 2 vacation days.
It was glorious!
I was able to sleep in, catch up on my shows, work on Urban League stuff, read, meditate and just BE! It was a stay-cation, and I didn’t even want to get a hotel. I pay enough in rent and didn’t feel the need to book a room in the city when I could just disconnect in my own home. I had my phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ for most of the time and that’s something I encourage y’all do at least once a week. Take a day to yourselves, you probably need it.
But then it ended as vacations do. Now I was lucky and had a few more days of “me” time, so while everyone was feeling the Sunday blues, especially after a long holiday weekend, I was able to delay that just a little longer. I had an idea that I was coming back to at least 120 emails (I came back to 133), countless voicemails (thank goodness I didn’t have any), and quite a few other deliverables. The first day back at work after a holiday can be daunting, but I think these tips will help you conquer that first day.
Get a good night’s sleep – Your sleep schedule was probably thrown all the way off due to late-night Netflix/Disney+/Hulu binge sessions, I know mine was. I watched the entire third season of ‘The Crown’ in like a day and caught up on the rest of my shows, but I made sure that I took some melatonin and went to sleep at a decent time on Tuesday night. I didn’t want to start my first day back at work on the wrong side of the bed.
Set an alarm – This goes along with the previous tip. Alarms typically aren’t set on vacation, so you have to make sure that you set one so that you don’t run late.
Caffeinate – Whether you’re a morning person or not that first day back will require at least one cup of coffee or tea. I had two cups of green tea this morning and they hit the spot! You might even want to consider a double shot if you feel like you’ll need it.
Make a list – Your inbox might feel overwhelming, and you might be tempted to start there but before you dive deep and get caught up for an hour responding to emails that have possibly already been answered by someone on your team write down what you want to accomplish that day. Be reasonable too; don’t try to squeeze in three days of work in 9 hours.
Start from the bottom – …of your inbox. If your inbox is like mine then you’re getting one every few minutes and you might be tempted to start from the most recent one work your way back, but I always encourage people to start from the oldest email and work their way to the new ones. Check to see if anyone else on your team was copied and if the email was answered or the issue was resolved before you start responding to emails. In fact, I always go through my emails and mark emails as “read” if they’ve been resolved by someone else, delete the spam/marketing ones, and flag the ones that require action. I was able to get my unread inbox down from 133 to 40 in about 45 minutes using that method.
Take a break – Whether it’s stepping away to grab water, use the restroom, grab a snack, or even stepping away for lunch (which you should be doing anyway), make sure you take regular breaks. Remember, you’re not trying to cram two or three days of work into 9 hours.
Continue to reference your ‘To-Do’ list – Use that as your guide for the day and make sure you cross of what you accomplish. It might not seem like much if you’re trying to make it through a mountain of work, but seeing those check marks on the sheet should help.
I hope these tips help y’all because they’ve definitely helped me throughout the years. Whether I’m coming back from a cruise, international trip or even a staycation this is my go-to method to help me with that first day back blues!