Coming back to the office after a blissful break is already tough enough. Don't make it harder for yourself - ensure you tick off our pre-holiday checklist...

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Swapping sun and sand for torrential rain and the tube is something we all dread after a relaxing break. But what's even worse is when you haven't prepared: cue hundreds upon hundreds of emails, 2-week-old congealed porridge on your desk and looming deadlines.

To soften the blow of post-holiday blues – and take some of the stress out of having to  work on holiday  - we reached out to media career coach Joanne Mallon for her pre-holiday work checklist. Make sure you have these points covered to ensure your break and return is nothing but smooth sailing…

1. Delegate where you can

Just because something needs to be done doesn’t mean it always needs to be done by you. Try not to panic if it seems too much. The period immediately before anyone goes away is inevitably busy but it will be worth it.

2. Leave a checklist for whoever’s covering for you...

...but DON’T encourage work to get in touch when you’re away. You’re allowed to have a holiday.

3. Ensure your team have everything they need to carry on like normal

Make sure work has access to your emails and records when you’re away, in case they need to check anything urgently.

4. Don’t micromanage anyone who’s taking over your duties

They won’t do things exactly the same as you but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll do it worse.

5. Clean your work surroundings before leaving

Clear your desk of papers and leave it clean and tidy before you go. It’s very depressing to come back to a pile of mess and half a rotten apple core next to the computer.

6. Make sure any ongoing projects are covered

Note anything that will need to be followed up on when you’re away and make sure whoever’s supposed to be handling it knows what’s expected of them.

7. Note any outstanding tasks for your return

Before you leave, make a list of things you need to do when you get back, so you can get started again more easily.

8. Switch off

If you’re feeling brave, disconnect your emails from your phone so you’re not tempted to look at them when you’re on holiday. They’ll still be there when you get back.

Ready, get set… Out of Office on.

Image: Getty Images

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Joanne Mallon  is a media career coach and author of  Social Media for Writers .