We tend to admire people who jump in feet first and don’t hesitate, but if there is ever a time to pause and take a deep breath, it is the moment when you return from vacation. Don’t dive in and bury yourself in the craziness of NOW; first, take charge of your time.
As life around the office settles down as people return from summer vacation, follow this guide to rapidly maximize your productivity after a break:
1. Give yourself a post-holiday break.
Don’t return to a full calendar of nonstop meetings. Always block your first day back to be meeting free to catch up on what you have missed and reconnect with your team.
2. Reset where you spend your time and energy.
Use the break to consider where you spend your time and energy. Are you thoughtfully ruthless about being in control of your time and who absorbs your energy? Press reset on your calendar as you return to work.
3. Throw a starting not an ending party.
Gather your team to launch your new product, your new sales quarter, or simply to refocus everyone as they return to work following a major holiday period. Share your goals, ask for feedback, and allow time for your team to simply socialize with each other.
4. Say thank you in advance.
I have probably said, “What do you say?” a thousand times to my three daughters because they are often too excited or distracted to remember their manners. Leaders are the same–with a lot on our minds, it is easy to forget the basics. Don’t wait until someone is leaving your team or a product is launched to say thank you. Try saying thank you in advance: thank your new hire for joining your team, thank your team for their hard work and for holding the fort while you were on vacation. Build daily gratitude into the way you work as you return from vacation, and your team will thank you for it.
5. Plan a year of vacations.
My biggest culture shock when I moved from England to Seattle 10 years ago was the fact that 51 percent of Americans don’t use all of their vacation time. Europeans don’t suffer from such an affliction. As you return from your break, take a moment to look at the next 12 months, and block and book your vacation time. Block off your birthday, and plan time with people who energize and inspire you. If you have kids, plan family vacations, date weekends, and time with your friends. Your productivity when you are in the office will increase because of it.
Stores are currently filled with back-to-school presents and supplies to help children make a successful transition back to school. Follow these tips to help your employees with their back-to-work transition.