Normally, when I come back after some weeks of laziness, parties, food and drinks, I’m ready to return to a normal life. “Too much of what you want becomes what you don’t want”.

Coming back to work from vacation can be hard… And the longer the vacation, the harder the return.

This summer, we travelled to Texas (USA) and to El Salvador (my homeland). We spent 3 weeks with ONLY 2 goals:

  • BE with my family
  • CELEBRATE my 40th birthday



After 3 weeks of celebrating the reunion with my family, at 8 hours time-difference, my greatest concern in my way back was: “HOW will I survive my first days at the office!?”

Well, I would say that it was not so hard. I followed some practical tips and I was SO happy and surprised with the results that I thought “I should share this”…

 Focus ONLY on the important

I know this sounds basic, but when you open your computer on Monday and start checking your 100+ emails… is not evident.

Before scanning your inbox, ask FIRST if there is any important or critical thing to tackle and give priority, instead of reading ALL your emails and find out what to do first. If there is… focus ONLY ON THAT. Do not worry about the other emails, if they waited 2 or 3 weeks, they can survive another day without you.

Do something NEW

Returning to pending tasks is not so easy, especially if you didn’t take notes or leave a written summary of the status before you left. Therefore, to start a NEW task is easier, and it helps your brain getting back into the rhythm and recover from the hammock-and-piña colada- activities 🙂

Some examples:

  • Document those repetitive actions or procedures that you always wanted to but never had the time for… NOW is the time!
  • Improve that document template that gives you trouble EVERY time you use it!
  • Is there a new project starting? ASK if you can help, you might be the right person in the right place at the right time.

Work in SHORT periods

Some months ago, the teacher of my 3 years old daughter recommended giving short tasks at home, controlling them with a timer. The idea was helping her to focus on a single task. The results were so positive that I decided to implement it for myself.

Normally, I put my full attention to a single task for a period of 50 mins. When the time is up I take 10 mins to relax my mind. Some people smoke or take a coffee. I google something or listen to a song that makes me dance internally…

In the first week after my vacation, I made SHORTER periods: 20/30 mins. My jet-lagged brain appreciated that very much 🙂

During the focus period, promise yourself NOT TO: open any new email, check your Facebook or answer any incoming whatsapp!

EXCHANGE experiences with your colleagues

For me: to start thinking in Dutch again, after 3 weeks of exclusively Spanish, was a good exercise to get back into the rhythm.

START planning a new personal development project

The excitement of a new project is the best way to keep yourself motivated during your post-vacation period, and I’m not talking about your next holiday-destination eh!? I mean something to develop yourself and contribute to your professional growth.

Nowadays, is easy to find (online) information about something you want to learn. Take advantage of it!


The comeback to your work should not be SO HARD!… keep yourself focused on important and interesting things and by the time you realize it, you’ll be preparing your departure to your next holiday destination!… Enjoy it!


What do you do to overcome the post-vacation blues at work? Do you have a good tip?

Let us know in the Feedback field below.


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