My personal and professional adventure into Science

How to get efficient back to work after vacation

Sunday afternoon I returned from Australia to Denmark after travelling for more than 42 hours through 9 time zones, with 4 planes in 5 different airports.

Okay, I admit, I didn’t buy the most expensive ticket so I had 6 hours of waiting time in Brussels airport. The waiting time plus one of the planes could probably have been cut out, but all the waiting time also got me thinking. It made me think of what I could do to return most efficient to work tomorrow Tuesday.

The thinking also reminded me of a blog post back from 2009 from the former CEO of, Morten Larsen. In the following I am highlighting the advises I am following, the original post in Danish from Morten is found here.

One of the obvious “problems” in this digital age, is the amount of emails accumulating in the inbox after a long vacation. Some of these can be deleted right away after reading, some can be quickly answered and others need further followup. Spend a few hours deleting and replying the day before you return to work.

Finished tasks
Before I left for vacation, I queued jobs at the server as mentioned here to slowly run while I was gone. I have now checked up on the jobs, found one that did not finish properly which leads me directly to the next advice.

To-Do lists
To-Do lists is an amazing tool to structure the day. I use Nozbe as my task manager. Nozbe is very easy to use, sync easily with all your devices and it is possible to share projects among your co-workers. By following up in the finished tasks, I now know which job to re-run and which I can continue working on. These, plus tasks from the sorted emails, have now been added to my to-do list, so I am ready for workstart tomorrow.

After following the three advises, I now know where to start when I return to the office tomorrow so the day can be more efficient. Hopefully there will not be too many extra things popping up, but you never know.

Now my questions to you is:
What do you do in order to be most efficient at your first day after a vacation?
Do you have other recommendable methods or software that will ease returning to the office?

I’m looking forward to reading your answers and suggestions in the comment box below.

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  1. maybe with a little help from pushy collaborators?

  2. Well, if you have a good relationship to the collaborators, and the project is awesome, I don’t mind working outside “working-hours” as you know 🙂

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