BUSY WEEK BEFORE YOU GO
The week before a holiday is often the busiest week of the year. We actually become super-productive as we crack through our To Do list in an attempt to clear everything before we leave. We want to make sure that we have communicated with everyone and tied up any loose ends. How can you make sure you can be productive after your holiday?
HOLIDAY BLUES AFTER YOU RETURN
In contrast the first few days back from holiday can often be our least productive days. We can feel demotivated. We often don’t feel ready to resume our normal hectic pace. We can find it hard to get back into “work mode”. All the details that were so clear before we left can seem very blurred on our return.
So how can we take control and be productive after our holiday?
CAPTURE EVERYTHING BEFORE YOU LEAVE
The trick is to spend time planning the first days back before you finish up. At this point you are really tuned into the finer details of every project or issue so this is the best time to record as much detail as you can. Prepare notes for up-coming meetings, jot down key points for reports, make draft plans for things your need to tackle that first week back. Expect to (temporarily) forget most of the knowledge in your head, as that is the purpose of your holiday after all!
STRATEGICALLY SCHEDULE YOUR FIRST DAYS BACK
Some people like to ease back into things with a low key schedule but I find the opposite works best for me. I arrange a couple of key meetings so that I have to quickly get back into a productive mode. I generally don’t welcome this on my first morning back but by the end of the day I am glad.
Consider what works best for you, your role and your environment. But be prepared to challenge yourself if you need to.
CAPITALISE ON YOUR RELAXED MIND
If you have successfully switched off during your holiday your mind will probably be free from all the usually stress and clutter. Some of the best ideas come to mind when you can see things more clearly and objectively. So use this rare state of mind to do some creative thinking and planning. But be careful: you can sometimes be too free-thinking and unrestrained that first day back. Make sure you don’t upset anyone by speaking too openly or honestly!
RESUME YOUR ROUTINES
It can take some time to get back into productive habits when you first return. If you usually exercise regularly try to resume this on your first day back. Enable your healthy eating habits by building in time to visit the supermarket before you go back to work so you can set yourself up for a healthy week
BE NICE TO YOURSELF
If you have the flexibility, reward yourself for being productive with an early finish time those first few days back. Maintain some of your holiday buzz by doing something you really enjoy like a cinema trip, a treatment or a (healthy!) meal out.
So have a great holiday and let me know if any of these Productivity & Time Management tips work for you. And of course please share your own ideas and tips in the Comments below. You can also check our Articles section for more productivity and time management tips on Managing Email, Reducing Stress, Managing Your Attention and Saying No
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