First Day Back at Work: Tips for a Smooth Transition

A week or so after their long holiday,

I recently checked in on a client of mine and I received the following reply:
“Oh thank you! It’s my first day back at my desk.
Any quick tips??!!!!!”


Whether it’s a long weekend after Easter, a holiday like my client, or just some well-deserved time off.  It’s natural to feel a little overwhelmed on your first day back, but don’t worry, I’m going to share with you the quick tips that I shared with my client to help you ease back into the groove.

“Oh! Welcome back😊

Take today to clear the decks. 

Process your email. Catch up on quick tasks (under 15 minutes). 

And then plan out the rest of your week. Ask yourself what three things do you want to achieve by the end of the week?”


Clear the Decks:
The first thing you want to do is clear the decks. What does that mean? It means tackling the low-hanging fruit – those small tasks that take less than 15 minutes to complete. Start by processing your email. Sort through your inbox, respond to urgent messages, and file away anything you don’t need. This simple step can help you feel more organised and ready to tackle bigger tasks.

Catch Up on Overdue Tasks:
Next up, tackle those niggling tasks. You know, the ones that have been lingering on your to-do list for far too long. Maybe it’s scheduling a meeting, sending a follow-up email, or updating a spreadsheet. Whatever it was that kept coming to you, even while on leave, knock it out. Not only will you feel accomplished, but you’ll also free up mental space for more important work.

Plan Out Your Week:
Now that you’ve cleared the decks and caught up on overdue tasks, it’s time to plan out the rest of your week. Take a moment to think about what you want to achieve by the end of the week. What are your top priorities? What projects do you need to focus on? Write down three actionable items that you want to accomplish. This will help you stay focused and on track throughout the week.

Remember to Take Breaks:
As you dive back into work, don’t forget to take breaks. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the workday and lose any relaxation you collected while on your break. Whether it’s a quick walk around the block, a coffee break with a colleague, or just a few minutes to stretch and recharge, make sure to carve out time for yourself throughout the day.

Be Kind to Yourself:
Lastly, be kind to yourself. It’s normal to feel a little rusty or out of sorts on your first day back. Give yourself permission to ease back into things gradually. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will whatever your Rome is. Remember that it’s okay to ask for help if you need it, and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go exactly as planned.

So, welcome back! Your first day back at work doesn’t have to be a stressful ordeal. By following these simple tips – clearing the decks, catching up on quick tasks, planning out your week, taking breaks, and being kind to yourself – you can set yourself up for a smooth transition back into the swing of things. You’ve got this!

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