Recovery-Mode. How to Mend at Work from a 3-Day Weekend

Posted: December 1st, 2016


How to Mend at Work from a 3-Day Weekend    

Written by:  Jo Garcia| May 31, 2016

        Many of us look forward to a 3-day holiday weekend like a 6-year-old the night before Christmas.   We do the, “Happy Dance” all the way out the door to start the weekend celebration, anticipating every minute of sleeping in, barbeque parties, and extra time with family & friends.  

        Like most everything – what goes up, must come down; including our earned time-off.    When the weekend is over, it’s as if you can mentally see yourself hanging onto your bedroom door, holding-on with dear life, being sucked into the black hole of that four-letter-word: WORK.   You are dreading the amount of emails that are already in your inbox waiting for you, the extra activities that will be asked of you, and the time crunch you’ll have to hurdle over to get anything done.   ARGH!    When will the madness end?

        When a woman gets pregnant and has a baby, it’s common to hear a doctor advise to the postpartum-mother, “It took your body 9-months to get that way – plan on it taking 18-months for your body to recover.”  

        This 2:1 Rule is no different for time off from work.   In most cases, a 3-day weekend means that you’ve missed 2-days of actual-productive work.  Be honest with yourself:  did your work-mind stop functioning the day before the weekend?    Instead of working, were you online scrolling through barbecue recipes?  Perusing on Facebook to see what your friends were going to be up to for the weekend?    Were you picking your kids up early from school because they just had a half day?

        Following the 2:1 Rule, if you’re like most workers, it’s going to take you, a realistic, 4 days to recover at work, from your 3-day weekend hiatus. Here are just a few tips I’ve learned over time for being able to recuperate from a post-holiday week:

Attitude is Everything.  Returning to work is inevitable – so don’t make it worse by having a bad attitude.   Look at this week as an exciting adventure – just waiting for you to fulfill.  Keep an encouraging outlook at work, and you’ll notice others around you adopting your positivity.  Remember that a smile is just as contagious as a yawn.

Get a Jump-Start. Try to go into work early every day during the first couple of days back.   Even just a half-hour-a-day head-start will help you get your mind and body back on track without the time-crunch pressure.

Stay Away from the Email Quicksand.   After a 3-day weekend, it can sometimes feel as if our email inbox has doubled in its usual amount.   A friend and I were just discussing how emails and text messages have forced us all to work faster; people expect a reply to their emails and text messages almost instantaneously.    So now, it’s the first day back after a 3-day weekend:   you have more emails to tackle than usual, AND everyone expects an answer yesterday.  Overwhelming to say the least.     Avoid the email quicksand – it’s so easy to get caught up at sitting in front of your computer, hammering out one email after another, not getting other more pressing work tasks done.   Before the weekend, set your out-of-office messages to say that you’ll be back in the office after 12pm on your first day back.    This will buy you a little extra time to prioritize your emails and respond accordingly with less of a time-crunch.

Plan Plan Plan.  Because everyone is playing, “Catch up,” you may get some extra tasks thrown at you.  So write it down.  We’re not talking about having wild sticky-notes, feverishly posted all around you; spend about 15-minutes, at the beginning of your day, writing down some tasks that you’d like to accomplish.   Then, if additional assignments get tossed at you – just add them to your list.   Remember to give all your tasks a realistic deadline to help keep you focused.

Keep the Momentum Work-Related.   It’s so easy to get caught up in sharing your weekend escapades with your co-workers.  Getting sucked into swapping stories of what you did over the weekend will just make it even harder to think in terms of, “Work-Mode.”   Do your best to keep your weekend hiatus stories for lunch-time or after work.

        I hope these tips help you find tranquility on your first day back, and best wishes on finding your workplace normality again.


The matters discussed here are general in nature and are not to be relied upon as legal advice. Every specific legal matter requires specific legal attention. 

The law is constantly changing and matters discussed today may not be the same tomorrow. Legal matters are also subject to different interpretations by attorneys, judges, jurors and scholars. No attorney-client relationship is intended or created as a result of matters discussed here. You should consult counsel of your choice if you have any dealings in these areas of the law. Volk Law Offices, P.A. and its attorneys make no representations or warranties with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the matters addressed.