So you’ve had a little break to enjoy the Easter and Anzac Day long weekends and now it’s time to return to reality. *groan!* We get it, we too want to stay on vacay, but with no lotto win or rich benefactor showing up, it’s back to the office!
After any holiday, it’s time to reset yourself in your workflow and define how you work and how you manage your personal energy. If you take control over this, you’ll feel better about returning to work.
We asked our team for some inspro on what they do when they return to work after a good break, and here’s what they had to say!
Emails are not the priority
Controversial much? Hear us out. Under no circumstances do we start with emails. We start by structuring our week, blocking our lunch breaks, walks, or gym sessions and making sure we’re organised. This is a great way to help you gain control of your personal time and set boundaries between work and play.
Do, delegate, defer, delete
When it comes to task management you need to up your authority so you don’t get lumped with the crappy (and let’s face it, timewasting) tasks.
Make a list of all the tasks you have on your plate and then divide each task into four areas: ‘Do,’ ‘Delegate,’ ‘Defer’ and ‘Delete.’
- Do work that you alone must do because it requires your expertise.
- Delegate tasks that are not in your wheelhouse but provide a learning opportunity for others in your business area.
- Defer anything that isn’t urgent. We tend to schedule this in our diary for one week and if it’s still needed, then we move it to our ‘do’ list.
- Delete things that are not critical or add zero value.
Be ruthless. You’re in a position where you have the authority to manage the executive office, and if that means work needs to be transferred to team members, then go ahead. While it may feel odd, you’re structuring your time to best support your executive and allowing ample space to value add to important or strategic work.
Don’t stop at procrastination station!
Procrastination will ruin you if you let it creep in. Some days you have to eat the frog and get on with it (not a literal frog, what we mean is that you need to tackle the yuckiest piece of work first to get it off your plate).
By focussing on and getting the hard stuff out of the way first, you allow yourself more time to focus on the things you enjoy later. We rank our tasks by importance and then schedule time in our diary to complete them. Additionally, we recommend working to your energy, so if you’re a gun in the morning, block a good part of your morning to get through your tasks.
Weapons of mass distraction
If you’re like us and don’t mind a bit of an insta scroll, or you enjoy chatting with your work bestie via IMs then listen up! You’ve really got to create boundaries when it comes to distractions.
One of the best ways to set boundaries is to eliminate these ‘weapons of mass distraction’ and turn off all emails, social notifications, and IMs until you have invested a solid amount of time on a task. We also recommend setting timeframes around emails. For some of our team, we only check our emails twice a day or at a set interval so our work is not driven by our inbox. Trust us, if something is deadly urgent, your desk phone will ring!
Stay in the moment
When you’re there, be there. When you’re not, be where you are supposed to be. Allow yourself to focus on one thing and make the best of it. When it comes to anything, work, home or even after-school activities with your kids, you will get the most from yourself (and the situation) if you invest your energy into what you’re doing, while you’re doing it. If you find yourself thinking about 10 different things, write them down, send yourself an email or add a calendar reminder to your phone with details, so you can let it go and be in that moment.
Now tell us, did any of these strike a chord with you? What do you do to ease back into the office after a good break.