Posts Tagged ‘vacation’

Post-Vacay: How to Get Your Groove Back

Monday, July 6th, 2015

back to work

Even if you love your job as much as we love ours, getting back into the groove of things after a vacation can be quite challenging, especially if it was after an extended holiday. From the email backlog to nonstop “catch-up” meetings and events, sometimes your body is present at the office while your mind is still enjoying the sandy beaches and pina coladas! Everyone needs a break now and then to decompress and forget the duties and responsibilities of business, but the key to making the most of your stress-reducing vacation is knowing how to effectively get back in the swing of things after taking time off. Here are a few tips to ensure your return to work is smooth sailing:

1. Check out…but Check-In – A recent Harris poll of 2,071 US workers showed that 6 out of 10 people said checking their emails while on vacation made it easier for them to ease back into work. Staying in touch with the office, even if just to keep a watchful eye from afar, helps relieve that anxious feeling when its time to return.

2. Use that last day of vacation as a “rest and recovery” day – Take the last day off to rebound from your vacation. Relax and enjoy some quiet time. Turn in early and get a good night’s rest. Don’t wait to sleep on the plane or use the last few hours to down the remaining shots of tequila. Use the last day to transition back to the reality version of yourself so you’ll be prepared for the next day to work.

3. Keep your mood upbeat – If you just left the Mexican resort of your dreams, why not listen to the music that reminds you of all the fun you had while you’re on your way in to the office. Throw in a quick cardio workout to get the endorphins flowing and help you rebound from all the guacamole and margaritas. Start your day back to work in a great mood and hold on to it as long as possible.

4. Keep things simple and stick to a game plan – Not all 280 new emails need to be answered within the first hour of your arrival back. Prioritize by importance/urgency and don’t get overwhelmed. Follow up, in detail, with the people who have an immediate demand, and for those who don’t, send a quick email saying you will soon follow up.

5. Reassess your goals – Chances are, that tropical vacation and whatever took you out of your groove is probably still on your mind. Get your mind back to the present by writing out your goals for the upcoming week. Reassess what you want to accomplish now that you’re back in the swing of things, and you may even have a fresh perspective now that you’ve had a chance to clear your head.

Don’t Fall Prey to the Summer Productivity Slump

Monday, July 21st, 2014

summer slackingAccording to a survey done by the Captivate Network, workplace productivity tumbles about 20% in the summertime. Of the 600 workers surveyed throughout various industries, most of us feel distracted, we take longer to complete projects, go on longer lunch breaks, and even have a drop in workplace attendance. You may be less productive because you’re distracted by summer activities or the fact that business has slowed. Maybe your managers and colleagues are on vacation so your normal hustle and bustle office environment is quieter than normal. Whatever the reason, Here are 5 things you can do to boost your productivity at work this summer.

Adjust the thermostat
I know it sounds silly, but research has proven that if the temperature inside your office is too high or too low, your productivity can suffer. Citing research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, it states the optimal office temperature is between 70 and 72 degrees (Fahrenheit). For every degree over 77 degrees, productivity drops by 2%, and below 68%, error rates increase dramatically. They also found that 10% of employees also waste time arguing over the office temperature, so if everyone could just agree on 70 to 72 degrees, we would all be more productive.

If there’s no work, find some
If you’re not productive simply because things around the office are slow, use this time to get a jump start on upcoming projects or new initiatives that might take more time to launch. The longer you wait for things to pick back up, the longer it will take for things to pick back up.

Switch up your routine, or the scenery
If work is starting to feel a little stale, you may be able to kick-start simply by changing your routine or environment. Try getting outside more during the workday. Go for a walk or have meetings outside. Or if you tend to do the same things at work in a set order, consider switching things up. The summer is a great time to start a new task and challenge yourself.

Don’t fall prey to lowering your output
Managers most-likely won’t accept poor performance because it’s a slower time of year. As long as your are getting your paycheck, your boss is assuming you are working to the best of your ability, regardless if others are vacationing at the beach.

Don’t think showing up equates to productivity
Just keep in mind that achievements trump hours spent. Just because you are in the office for the required eight hours doesn’t mean you’ve done your job. The summer is not a ticket for slacking off, so don’t do it!

How to Stay Sane Post Vacation

Monday, July 21st, 2014

work after vacaySummer vacations are awesome! Whether you’ve taken a summer getaway to an exotic island, a family trip to one of the Disney parks or even a “stay-cation” in your own backyard you know that coming back to work after time away can cause enough stress to need another vacation. A colleague of mine said, “Coming back to work after a vacation is like a Monday on steroids.” Not only are your emails and daily tasks piled up, but if you’ve just spent the last week laying on the beach sipping pina coladas, its pretty hard to switch back to the office chair/cubicle mentality. Here are some tips to help you ease back into reality and productivity after your summer vacation.

Give yourself time to decompress
When you are planning your trip, schedule an extra day off on the back end of your vacation before returning back to the office. Give yourself time to unpack, do laundry and grocery shop. Taking care of these types of chores will make you feel better prepared to return to your routine. And if you can’t take that extra day off, don’t overbook yourself with meetings and commitments on your first few days back. Easing back into work mode from vacation mode can help save you from being distracted or unmotivated.

Plan your return
Even without a vacation, returning to the office on Monday after the weekend can be stressful. If Mondays are usually tough days for you, try returning from your vacation in the middle of the week instead. All the craziness of Monday will be long gone and it will be easier to ease back into your routine.

Beware of multi-tasking
When you’ve been gone from work on vacation, coming back to the office can be jarring. You have an inbox full of emails, backlogged tasks that need completing, clients that need attention as well as all your other usual day-to-day responsibilities. Your first instinct is to try to get through everything as quick as possible, but all the multi-tasking will only stress you out more. Use the Now/Soon/Later technique to prioritize your tasks and complete them accordingly. Take things one step at a time as to not to get overwhelmed. Focusing on a singular task will ensure you complete it correctly so you don’t have to revisit it later.

Get back into your routines
The best way to get back into work mode is to get back into your work routine. If you go to the gym every morning before heading in to the office, start that back up as quickly as possible. If you have scheduled weekly meetings, don’t put those off till you get caught up. By postponing your regularly scheduled activities, it will take you longer to get caught up, and it will be more difficult to get out of vacation-mode.

Tell the story all at once
If you were fortunate enough to visit an exotic destination, visit long-lost relatives, or just have an interesting vacation story to tell, you’ll probably want to share it with your co-workers. And they’ll probably want to hear it. To avoid telling the story over and overagain, offer to share your story and pictures at lunch. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, but you’ll save them a lot of time too.