• Tara Humphrey

Returning to work after the holidays | Top Tips

Taking time off work should be relaxing, but we all know that the lead up to a holiday can be stressful. Equally, the return to work, the overflowing inbox and the need to catch up on everything that's gone on in our absence can feel overwhelming.

Back in the summer I wrote this blog to share some strategy and planning approaches to return from holiday stress free, with clarity of what you need to do.

And don't forget, if you like this blog you can subscribe to our newsletter for more tips and advice.

Like many others, this week I came back to work after the Christmas break.

Thankfully, the planning and thought I'd put into how I was going to manage my return to work paid off, and the transition hasn't been anywhere near as overwhelming as it might have been.

Here are my top tips to help you make the smooth transition back into work and start as you mean to go on:

1. Plan your days and prioritise. Don’t just sit down and get swallowed up by your email or waste time procrastinating on tasks which do not need your attention straight away.

2. Do not book to attend any meetings in the first couple of days. Take at least two days to allow your brain to get back into work mode.

3. Check your diary. Even though you may not have any meetings on your first day back, remember to review your diary for the week ahead to ensure that you don’t have to suddenly be somewhere or contribute to a meeting you had completely forgotten about.

4. Work on one task at a time. Don't start reading your next email until you have fully finished processing your current one. If you suddenly remember something you have to do, simply write it down and return back to the task in hand.

5. Adjust your expectations. It may be a little unrealistic to catch up on the communications and ongoing work in your first few days back and this is completely okay. Try not to undo all that R&R by working like crazy. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race.

These tips are not just useful when returning to work after the Christmas break, they are things we can all bear in mind to help boost our productivity year-round.

What tips do you have to help you transition back in to work after time off?

Why do we keep doing what doesn't work?

When you unexpectedly have to take time off work

Why meetings are useful but only if used properly!

Tara Humphrey is the founder of THC Primary Care, a leading healthcare consultancy specialising in workforce transformation and the host of the Business of Healthcare Podcast.

Tara and her team also work with GP federations supporting the implementation of clinical services.

Tara has over 20 years of project management and business development experience across the private and public sector and has an MBA in Leadership and Management in Healthcare, is published in the London Journal of Primary Care and is the author of over 150 blogs.

For more insights and some free templates, please subscribe to our newsletter.