4 Tips for Overcoming the Post-Vacation Blues

Returning to work after a long holiday weekend can be a struggle. The urge to look at your friends’ Instagram pictures, chat with coworkers about your vacation, or simply daydream while looking at the beautiful day outside can come at the expense of focus on your work responsibilities. It’s important to understand this post-vacation malaise for what it is: a temptation to slack off. Below are a few tips to overcome the productivity loss associated with the post-vacation blues.

1. Plan

Spend part of your morning writing a prioritized list of critical goals you’d like to achieve throughout the day and week. Then, revel in the act of crossing each item off the list. Toward the end of the day, review your successes and hold yourself accountable for the tasks you did not complete.

2. Move

It’s good for body and soul to get up and move around. The surest way to clear your head is to take a walk outside. Brisk movement gets our blood circulating. It’s summer after all, so take a couple trips per day and enjoy some quiet reflection and organize your thoughts for the day ahead.

Try to stand while working, if possible. Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway and Winston Churchill worked from standing desks because they recognized that the comfort of your chair my lull your body (and mind) into a relaxed, less productive state. If standing while working is not an option, then a quick stand and stretch every 20 minutes might be enough to keep over-relaxation at bay.

3. Engage

Try to schedule phone calls or other tasks which require you to interact with others right after lunch. It’s often the case that a small dose of productive conversation provides a shot of energy to push us through that sluggish midday slump.

4. Motivate

Listen to upbeat music while you work or find motivational podcasts and YouTube channels that offer short, energetic messages that will get you back to work with renewed vigor. Your coworkers might also have something to offer. Believe it or not, some people return from vacation fully ready to jump back into their work. If you’re this type of person then you should recognize that your work ethic will be infectious. Take it upon yourself to motivate others in your workplace so that your organization gets back to peak productivity as quickly as possible.