6 Step Checklist: Recover After A Long Weekend

Many of us are heading back to work.

In the U.S., today marks the return after an extended New Year’s holiday weekend.

Some of us have been off since before Christmas.

Getting back on track can be a challenge. It can even be a little scary.

I am sure may people lost sleep last night stressing about the workload they are going back to.

Are you ready to return to work?

What I Am Walking Back Into?

It can be a daunting task to return to work after a long break.

There are usually many questions to be answered…

Where was I on this work?

What task to start with?

Who left this place such a mess? (This is a tough one…)

When will I get caught up?

I have no doubt that some will spend the better part of this week digging out of their disorganization.

That is neither fun, nor productive.

So, let’s get back up to speed quickly.

Hit the Ground Running

Upon returning to work, it is important not waste an inordinate amount of time playing “catch up.”

Let’s focus on the items that will have the largest impact and help us get back on track rapidly.

Here is a 6 Step Checklist to Help You Recover After the Long Weekend:

  1. Clean Your Desk – Catching up with your work can be doubly difficult if you are also digging out from the mess you left behind before the break. Start by cleaning up your workspace. By removing the clutter, you will be prepared to start work fresh. And you just might uncover some of those tasks you left behind.
  2. Empty Your Inbox – Some might wait to take the plunge into their Inbox upon their return. However, I find that getting ahead of your messages can be a strategic advantage. You can prioritize and respond to message before the inevitable email deluge starts from others who are emptying their inboxes.
  3. Review Your Todo List – Reviewing your todo list is especially important today. If you were unplugged during the break, it is time to re-familiarize yourself with your todos. A good todo list will have your back and ensure that you don’t forget any priority tasks when returning from your break.
  4. Review Your Calendar – Chances are, you are not aware of what appointments you have in the new year…yet. Take time to look over your calendar not just for today and this week, but out a good month into the new year. You will prevent any upcoming surprises and will have time to resolve any conflicts that you discover.
  5. Block Your Time – Now that you have reviewed your calendar, it is time to block your time. Schedule yourself out several weeks before others can get to your calendar. Remember, don’t just schedule appointments but also time for your projects and tough tasks.
  6. Get Ahead of the Game – If you want to be ahead of the pack today, you may want to take a head start. Getting to work even a little bit early can give you a large lead. I know a few people who went back to work yesterday just for this reason.

Return to Work

Let’s not stress about the workload we are returning to today.

Instead, let’s get organized and get a jump-start.

Work your checklist early to get ahead of the game.

You’ll be back on track before your peers even know what day it is.

How do you catch up with your work after a long weekend?

25 thoughts on “6 Step Checklist: Recover After A Long Weekend

  1. Craig: You hit this one on the head! I wonder how many of us feel this way this day? (And, this post sure beats reading the predictions for 2012!) I tried getting my ducks in a row – at least in my head – before I sat down to the computer, but now I have your tips, and I’m hoping for more. Thanks bunches! –Sally

  2. Craig: You hit this one on the head! I wonder how many of us feel this way this day? (And, this post sure beats reading the predictions for 2012!) I tried getting my ducks in a row – at least in my head – before I sat down to the computer, but now I have your tips, and I’m hoping for more. Thanks bunches! –Sally

  3. @TMNinja thanks for the great tips. This year I managed to set out early Jan tasks before the Holidays. Here’s hoping it helps ease me back

  4. @TMNinja thanks for the great tips. This year I managed to set out early Jan tasks before the Holidays. Here’s hoping it helps ease me back

  5. @TMNinja thanks for the great tips. This year I managed to set out early Jan tasks before the Holidays. Here’s hoping it helps ease me back

  6. @TMNinja thanks for the great tips. This year I managed to set out early Jan tasks before the Holidays. Here’s hoping it helps ease me back

  7. @TMNinja thanks for the great tips. This year I managed to set out early Jan tasks before the Holidays. Here’s hoping it helps ease me back

  8. @jasongrubbs Yes, you were the one I referenced who went back to work yesterday… just to get ahead of all of us. 🙂

  9. @jasongrubbs Yes, you were the one I referenced who went back to work yesterday… just to get ahead of all of us. 🙂

  10. All great tips. I would have to add some points. Before going on a mini vacation or weekend, I love to prepare my house, because it’s my working environment. Because once I get home the friction is already removed and out of the way.

    There is always that moment where I need to reconnect with my old environment, but I have new thoughts. My task manager was wtih me all the time (OmniFocus on iPhone), so instead of reviewing what has to be done, I like to focus on what has to be eliminated.

    Change of location always nurtures my creativity and gives me different perspectives on how I approach life and work. So what I thought was important before, might be redundant task today.

  11. All great tips. I would have to add some points. Before going on a mini vacation or weekend, I love to prepare my house, because it’s my working environment. Because once I get home the friction is already removed and out of the way.

    There is always that moment where I need to reconnect with my old environment, but I have new thoughts. My task manager was wtih me all the time (OmniFocus on iPhone), so instead of reviewing what has to be done, I like to focus on what has to be eliminated.

    Change of location always nurtures my creativity and gives me different perspectives on how I approach life and work. So what I thought was important before, might be redundant task today.

  12. I am not a great fan of blocking my agenda too much time before. I prefer to keep my list of projects updated and my agenda very flexible. I wrote an article about this, considering that the calendar should also keep fixed only those things that are really fixed (http://bit.ly/uwAoRu).

    Good advices overall !!!

    JC

    http://comomeorganizo.blogspot.com

    Twitter: @ComoMeOrganizo

    Ultima Nota: Movilidad – Las Notificaciones en el Blackberry

  13. I am not a great fan of blocking my agenda too much time before. I prefer to keep my list of projects updated and my agenda very flexible. I wrote an article about this, considering that the calendar should also keep fixed only those things that are really fixed (http://bit.ly/uwAoRu).

    Good advices overall !!!

    JC

    http://comomeorganizo.blogspot.com

    Twitter: @ComoMeOrganizo

    Ultima Nota: Movilidad – Las Notificaciones en el Blackberry

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