MAKE IT A SLOW START
Get into the office earlier to organise what you have to do for the day. Start slow – don’t jump right into multi-tasking. “Focusing on one thing at a time will give you ample time to ease into the frame of mind for work. Juggling many tasks the moment you’re back from a long break will result in undue stress,” says Melissa.

GO IN WITH A STRATEGY
Anthony says: “Some people take on the first project they see on their desk; others prefer to finish the simple tasks first to give them the momentum to tackle the tougher ones later; and some work the opposite way.” Knowing what works for you will help you get through your backlog systematically, without leaving you overwhelmed.

SPEAK TO YOUR BOSS
If you’re returning from maternity leave, speak to your boss about possible new work arrangements, such as childcare leave, the flexibility of working from home occasionally, or even a change of duties. “Have a frank discussion. If they require you to travel frequently, which will interfere with family life, you may want to consider asking for an adjustment of your job scope,” says Melissa.

RECONNECT WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES
Bring in your holiday snapshots to share with your co-workers, says Anthony. Besides helping you to settle in and reconnect with them, it makes coming to work more enjoyable when you start things off on a lighter note.

This article was originally published in Simply Her June 2012.