Make going back to work easier

It’s summer, and hopefully, you have a vacation and some long weekends planned for fun and relaxation. Ensure that when you return to work, you are as productive as ever by following these tips:

Arrive early on your first day back. Create some quiet time, sans chatty co-workers and other distractions, where you can organize and plan how to tackle your workload.

Check your schedule. Were any meetings scheduled or cancelled while you were gone?

Look for new tasks. Review your emails and check voice-mail to find any assignments that came your way while you were out. Did your boss ask you to do something? Does a co-worker need anything? Do you need to follow up with a client?

Prioritize your to-do list. Hopefully, you created a detailed, prioritized to-do list before you left, but revisit it, and re-prioritize it based on anything that came up while you were gone.

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Check in with your team. Send a quick message to team members letting them know you are back, and ask them to fill you in on anything that came up while you were out. Also let them know you are available if they need anything.

Remember: Vacations and long weekends are supposed to re-energize you. A little planning before you leave—and this routine when you return—will ensure that your time off doesn’t create unnecessary stress.

— Adapted from “6 Things Successful People Do When They Return From a Long Weekend,” Aine Cain, Ladders,