I know most of you don’t want to read this, but the truth is summer is almost over and some of us are already coming back to work. Others are still dreaming of the summer lazy days, in that case, save this post to your bookmarks, read this post and enjoy your time off. Let’s get started now:
Getting back to work after a well-deserved summer holiday it’s tough. You dread that day. No, why have these days go by so fast??? But you know what? You don’t need to feel that way. And that is why I’m here today writing you this post. I don’t and I want to make sure you don’t feel either.
First, if you didn’t read my What to do on your summer holidays to recharge (even at home) post, start there. Specially if you didn’t went on your holidays yet or are still enjoying your days out.
Now, since you already know how to fully rest and get your self recharged, let’s go bring you back to work as a fully recharged, happy and excited productive self:
First and foremost, use your last few days before coming back to re-organize yourself. Re-focus. Think about what is going to be waiting for you when you’ll be back and make a plan for those days. What do you what to change in this back to work? Maybe a tip you read in a magazine at the beach that you want to try, or a new method you found in that book you loved. Don’t forget about those now that you’re coming back to your day-to-day, bring those ideas that excited you back with you. Plan ways to improve your day-to-day and work life. Plus points if it’s a work-life balance tip!
Meal prep the day before
It seems the tip of the century but this can be pretty easy actually. For some, it means getting all the tupperwares piled in the kitchen top of all your meals for the week, for others, as for me, it means doing a big batch type of food like a lasagna that gets us through the first few days of the week. Whatever works for you, do it. It can take a while until you find your way of meal prep but take the chance, maybe search for meal prep tips for a type of cuisine you love. I did it for Italian food, for example, and gave me a few good ideas. Another thing you can do also is soup. I’m Portuguese, so almost every house has soup all year long. But you can prefer salads, they are a good thing also, and super easy to prep or have it ready for the weekly meals. Do what works for you and save some time and head pains during this big week.
Take it easy
That’s the spirit. I learned this a long time ago. The most part of our anxiety about getting back to work is the worry about all the workload and list of things we must get to get done, but the truth is, you don’t and will not get everything done in the first day. Plus, one thing you always have when you get back to the office is a big list of e-mails. Well, that’s fantastic! You know why? Because that’s exactly there that I start. My first day back is usually slow and easy, I get a cup of coffee, open my laptop, take a minute to choose a good song, reply to any messages or texts that have been waiting for me and then I start with my e-mail. It’s easy and kind of therapeutic for me. Maybe because I use the GTD method for handling those. I delete whatever I don’t need, I flag everything that needs my action moving the not-so-important ones to the “In Progress” folder, archive the ones I may need for reference later in my “Reference” folder, and do it quickly and harsh. Like a band-aid. And when you know it, it’s lunchtime or the final of the day, whatever is the size of your inbox. To this, I add catching up with your team. It’s always important to have that social time also, so you know everything that happened while you were gone and what it’s really needed from you now that you’re back.
READ MORE: My tips for the perfect remote workday
Have an easy and slow morning routine
Ok, I know we were already at lunchtime, but let’s get back a little to the morning. One of the things that improved tremendously my getting back to work in the last years was my take on my mornings. I change my morning routine quite often, especially now with our little one. In one moment I would wake at 6 am, do the Miracle Mornings, and be ready to conquer the day when baby T woke up at 7 am, others (as now) I wake up later and put my big focus on having the baby fed, dressed and out the door for the kindergarten and then take a slower pace with breakfast out with the hubby before we get back home to work in our home office. But one thing that I advise you is: if you feel like you wake up every day dragging to get up, you should try to change your morning routine. I’m not going to advise you on joining the Miracle Mornings, the 5 am Club, exercise, whatever, because I got to learn that isn’t what’s the most important. The most important is that you feel happy and excited in the mornings. So, do this, add to your mornings something that you enjoy doing, maybe you need to sleep a little bit more (go to bed early to get those hours), maybe you enjoy going out for breakfast, maybe you feel good when you drink that cup of coffee slowly… Whatever works for you. Just bring a little bit of joy to your mornings. And keep improve them. A tip: look to your weekends. What do you do on your weekend mornings that you don’t get to do on the weeks? Maybe change that. As that old quote says: “life’s too short to live only for the weekends”. That’s my 2021 #moto, right there!
Get an active final of the day – walk, gym, me-time
I’m going to tell you, this tip is sitting here for a few years in this blog post draft. I’m a couch potato right now. Well, a mama-couch-potato-after-baby-goes-to-bed. But when I was working in the office I loved ending my days this way. I would leave the office and go to the gym near it where I would have a great me-time exercising and then swimming in its pool. It was relaxing to me and it made me feel recharged and stronger, readier for the rest of the week. Now with coronavirus maybe this is not a possibility for everyone else, or simply, exercising in the gym and swimming is not your thing. That’s totally fine! But try to incorporate some active time in your day that excites you. There, you see, excitement, joy, once more. 😉 It can be some yoga, walking, running, cycling, tennis, whatever works for you. For me has been swimming in our pool and playing with our little one. But I really want to get back to walking, running, cycling, and yoga.
And here it is. Your guide to having a better, happier, and productive back to work after the holidays. Hope you enjoyed it and it made you feel lighter. Because that’s exactly how I want you to feel.
Now, go kick that to-do list ass! You got this!