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I had an accident in May which gave me an elbow fracture. I was on medical leave for 50 days. I have come back to work now but I feel very lost at work. I work as a development editor at a publishing firm. It feels like I have forgotten what I used to do and my skills as well. I know I have the required skills (because I have been a top performer with awards), but it seems they have become lost somewhere in my brain.

How do I get back on track?

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You will not get into the swing of things on the first day after a long break. You need to give it some time to get back in the game. Start by getting small things done. Don't worry about how little you are getting done, as you can easily catch up. As you start completing things, you will get into the zone, and your dormant skills will naturally begin flowing back almost subconsciously.

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Everyone knows you've come back from a long time off after an accident, so they're not going to expect that you'll be back in the swing of things right away. If you're feeling lost in some things, it won't hurt to ask other people about how things are done, you'll eventually remember and pick up on them pretty quickly. It'll take time taking sort of baby steps, but you'll be back in the groove before you know it.

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How do I get back on track?

You should have been preparing for this and hit the ground running and eager, not waited until you got there and started scratching your head. So if it happens in future act professionally, prepare, research, focus..

Not much you can do now that won't just happen with time anyway except proactively motivate yourself and focus until you get back to where you were. Don't play the sympathy card, it's a cop out and while everyone will understand it's best not to train yourself to rely on crutches (for your own sake). So put in the work and keep momentum high.

The ideal is that you have your work face and attitude on before you arrive, so that's the first thing to focus on. Mentally prepare yourself before you leave home if possible.

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