Making The Switch From Summer Back To Work Mode

You’re staring at an inbox full of emails, a calendar full of appointments and you see that daunting blinking red light on your phone. Your heart starts racing and you quickly wish you were in your backyard enjoying a nice summer evening BBQ. However, it’s 10am on a weekday, your kids are back at school and as much as you would love to duck and run, it’s not a realistic option. What can you do to make the transition from summer mode to work mode as smooth as possible? Below, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help make this switch a bit less painful.

  1. Clear Your Desk – Yes, we all have our own system regarding how our desk is set up, but there is a fine line between organized chaos and complete clutter. So take some time to sort through the papers that have been sitting on the corner of your desk, the post it notes that are stuck around your computer and whatever else may be laying around and either finish it, file it or toss it!
  2. Do One Thing At A Time – Multitasking can be helpful, but it can also increase your chances of making a mistake and missing important information. So stop trying to get it all done at the same time and tackle one task at a time!
  3. Clear Out Your Voicemail – Between emails and texts, not many people leave a message on your phone anymore, so it’s easy to let voicemails build up. Take the time in the morning while you’re powering up your computer to take a listen and empty out your messages.
  4. Make A New To Do List – New season, new list. Time to sort through what needs to get done now, can wait until later, can be delegated or deleted. The sooner you have a handle on this the easier it will be for you to make real progress and get things done.
  5. Don’t Let Your Cell Phone Distract You – Put it in a drawer, turn it upside down or if possible, power it down for a bit. Yes that sounds like a scary thought, however when you need to concentrate on getting a job done, each glance you take in the direction of your cell phone, takes away valuable time and concentration from the task at hand.
  6. Go Through Your Calendar – One of the most nerve wracking parts about getting back to work is thinking about all that you need to get done. Take the time to loo through your calendar to see what meetings, due dates and projects you have coming up. Scanning this over now will allow you to avoid any last minute meeting preparation fire drills.
  7. Get Excited About Work Again – Remember when you were younger and you went out and bought new school clothes or a new back pack and you couldn’t wait to get to school to show your friends. Who says you can’t do the same for work? Ok – so maybe you don’t need a new outfit to show off, however you can still harness that same excitement by getting stoked about a new potential client or business endeavor!
  8. Stick To Your Regular Business Hours – As tempting as it is to stay late at work, research tells us that it is actually very bad for your health. It puts you on a clear course for burnout and increases your risk for a heart attack or stroke. So keep within your normal working hours – they have been set for a reason! If you consistently can’t seem to get everything done, then take a look at numbers 4, 5 and 9. If those fail, then it’s time to sit down with your boss and take a look at your responsibilities and the division of work.
  9. Delegate Work As Needed – Remember that you are only one person and you cannot do it all. So take advantage of the eager staff members that surround you and delegate work when possible. It will help free up your time for the engagements that need your attention and will allow those who report to you to grow and gain new job experience.
  10. Schedule Something Fun – We all need something to look forward to. Whether it’s a fun night out with friends or family, an endurance event to keep you in shape or a new TV series to binge watch, figure out something outside of work that can keep you going on those days that are a bit tougher to handle!

Good luck with your transition back. And don’t worry, Thanksgiving and the start of Holiday mode is only 85 days away!