5 Ways to Stay Productive When You Have a Short Week at Work

Originally published on LinkedIn

Long weekends, travel, conferences or off-site trainings are just a few reasons why you may have a short week at work. On one hand, you've had time away so hopefully you're recharged. On the other hand, the thought of all the work that piled up in your absence may have you dreading those extra days off. 

Here are a few tips to help you get through the week and still deliver quality work. (Hint: some of them have little to do with actual work but are guaranteed to reenergize you.)

  1. Make a list of what you need to accomplish that week. Highlight the top priority for the first day back and start working on it as soon as you get to work. Before you start responding to email. Check out MelRobbins "How to Plan Your Week"

  2. Pack a healthy, delicious lunch and take time to eat away from your desk. Preferably somewhere with a nice view of nature. You can even take your laptop to get work done in a different location--or maybe that's just me. According to various sources, this can boost your energy and save you moneyThe Kitch has some delicious lunch ideas.

  3. Avoid unnecessary meetings the first day back, or at least that morning. For some great ways to bow out, Dorie Clark gives some great advice.

  4. Take a little time to catch up with a work friend or two. Social bonds are a necessary part of life, and work is no exception. There are benefits of having a close friend at work despite some challenges. It's probably best to socialize with peers to avoid potential conflicts of supervisory bias.

  5. Plan something fun after work. According to various sources, these are some of the things successful people do: exercise, eat a delicious dinner with someone you love--for any parents out there, pick a meal that's partially prepped to save time. Have a relaxing ritual like a warm bath and hot tea, journaling, blogging or reading a book before bed (and yes, audiobooks count). And what you do outside work, can make you happier at work. Pick your outfit for the next day and get some sleep!