1. Let people know you're not going to be aroundThis may sound obvious but it is something that is easy to forget.
If you have a calendar that others can see, make sure that you block the time you are away out on your calendar so that other people can see that you are going to be unavailable in advance.
Set your Out of Office (OOO) message letting people know that you are away, when you are due back and who they can ask the questions that they would otherwise ask you when you are away. This way other people will know that you're not ignoring them and save them from getting annoyed.
You can prepare the message in advance and switch it on before you leave.
2. Block out admin-time for when you returnWhen you have been away it can take time to settle and catch up with all the messages that have been sent to you while you were away.
Purposely block out some time on your first day back, ideally in the morning, to allow you to catch up on your e-mails and bring yourself back up to speed. This will reduce the likelihood of you getting stressed.
3. Break it downAvoid feeling overwhelmed by taking an overview of the things you need to work through.
Create a to-do list.
- Which tasks have the tightest deadlines?
- Which tasks you can complete simply and quickly?
- Are there any 'quick wins' where doing one task will make the others easier to complete?
- Are there any that need to be carried out in sequence?
Be realistic about how long each task is likely to take and set time aside.
If other people have insights that can help you, ask them for help.
4. Feel refreshedMake sure you don't stay up too late the night before you go back to work. Avoid drinking anything containing a lot of caffeine after 8pm because that can really disrupt your sleep pattern. Allow yourself to get some decent rest.
5. Run on good fuelOn your first day back stay hydrated. If you reach straight for the coffee keep it balanced my drinking also drinking plenty of water.
Coffee is a diuretic - there'll be more liquid going out than in, so keep it topped up!
A lot of people find that eating something containing protein in the morning helps to give them stamina - they don't get hungry again as quickly and it helps them to keep their mind sharp.
Protein is used by our bodies for repairs.
Are there any tips that I have not mentioned that work particularly well for you?
Please share them in the comments below.