I just love the summer months, don’t you?
However, the change of pace that comes with the kids being off school, taking time off to go on holiday and your clients and customers doing the same can be hard to spring back from come September.
Do you find that when you sit back at your desk after time off, working less hours or going on holiday, you don’t feel quite as energised and motivated as you thought you would?
You’re not alone. Lots of people struggle with how to be productive after the summer holidays
Giving the brain room to breathe
Taking time off is essential, for you and your business. If you’re anything like me, then a couple of days into your holiday you will find that your brain starts to breathe again, and that little ideas factory in your head starts to churn out some really good stuff. I love this feeling, for me it usually happens after a bit of a dry spell when working day in and day out for a long period of time has been stifling my creativity and motivation.
This newfound creativity is the result of stepping back and taking time off. So just in case you’re in any doubt about whether taking time off is good for your business, think back to a time when you returned to work full of ideas and inspiration.
Time off can be exhausting
What many people forget about spending more time with the kids or taking time off to go on holiday is that it can be pretty exhausting!
We take part in activities that are more physical than we’re used to and days are often longer as we pack more into the time we have. We also might over indulge on food, drink, late nights and early mornings as our new-found freedom goes to our heads.
All of this takes its toll. And yes, our brains may be thanking us for stepping away from the keyboard for a week or two, but the rest of our body is not so sure.
This is a big reason why we need to adjust back into working life after time away from our businesses.
Top tips for returning to the office
I know from experience that jumping back in at the deep end doesn’t work. So here are my top tips for how to be productive after a summer of fun.
Don’t assume that you can work to full capacity the first day you get back.
It’s really important that your first day in the office isn’t a normal day in the office.
I always tell my clients and customers that I am unavailable for one or two more days more. The reason for this is that I need to get back into the flow. Let’s face it, if your flight from Spain for example, doesn’t get in until late at night, you don’t want to be sat at your desk with a travel hangover at 8am the next day, do you?
Focus on planning and organisation
Anything can be achieved with a plan! In fact, preparing for work is just as important as the work itself. If you’ve been away for a couple of weeks, then you can’t expect to remember your upcoming deadlines and obligations off the top of your head.
Spend some time getting to grips with your business commitments by reviewing your diary, to-do list and/or task management systems. This will act as reminder of your upcoming priorities and help you plan ahead.
Do something you enjoy
I guarantee that you’re not itching to get back to updating your business finance spreadsheets or starting a big daunting project. Ease yourself into things with a task you enjoy doing. Doing this gives you the satisfaction of ticking something off your to-do list while enjoying the experience of being back in the office.
Reconnect with your clients and customers
If you’re a service-based business then you probably have client commitments and obligations to take care of. Communicating with your clients about the time you’re away and unavailable is vital. If you need a day or two to get things in order before starting back at full capacity then just check in and let them know. An informed client is a happy client after all.
Take plenty of breaks
This one is really important. For a couple of days at least, take plenty of breaks between tasks. It’s important that you don’t use up more energy than you have available. If you pace yourself in this way, you will find that you naturally start to work up to full capacity in no time at all.
I hope whatever you get up to this summer is amazing and remember that taking time off from your business is good for both of you.