By now the summer holidays are a distant memory as we trade in natural sunlight with the harsh and stark reality of fluorescent office lighting. The cool, refreshing, mid afternoon beer has been replaced with an “I need this to get through the rest of the day” coffee. The incessant email notifications drowning out the social media notifications showing everyone else sunning themselves on the beach.
So how do we ensure that the summer holiday feeling lingers past our first few hours back in the office? Here are a few tips that should keep you going – hopefully until your next holiday!
Ease into it
When returning from a break, make sure you avoid the temptation of checking your emails before you get into the office. Trying to get a head start on the clean up of the inbox is never a good end to your break, and it will only leave you cranky and dreading the return. There is certainly something to be said for “ignorance is bliss”.
Also try to keep your first week lighter than usual for meetings and commitments. You need time to adjust, including working out how you can get through the day without a siesta.
Rethink how you hold meetings
We have all tried to avoid the trap of holding meetings for the sake of meetings, but have you ever thought about how you could change the meetings that you must have? What about standing meetings? You will be assured that the meeting is time efficient given that people don’t get a chance to get comfortable on their posterior. Or walking meetings? Why can’t you combine some fresh air and sunshine with exercise and a productive meeting? I am going to make sure that I always have a pair of runners in the office for this purpose.
Continue your holiday with a staycation
One of the best things about holidays is discovering a new city, be it cafes, bars, shops, architecture. Why not continue exploring your very own backyard in your lunch break? Broadsheet is a good place to start the quest of restaurant discovery. Take a walking tour of the city with a twist – graffiti, history or ghost tours are a quirky way of seeing your city from a different perspective.
And don’t forget just to let your feet and mind wander . . . it is good to get lost (but please do get back to work on time).
Create more downtime by outsourcing tasks
We all have a list of chores that we hate doing. They are usually left to Sunday afternoon, destroying that Sunday feeling and creating Shmonday (the dying of Sunday afternoon and its morphing into a premature Monday). Why not try outsourcing? Find a drycleaner that can press your work shirts, get your food delivered, hire a personal trainer to push you harder to achieve your goals in the shortest amount of time, or invest in a robot vacuum cleaner that does the work for you when you are at work.
Have a holiday planned
A very wise friend told me that you should never come home from a holiday unless you have the next one planned. So true, it is easier to beat the post holiday blues if you are already looking forward to the next holiday.
And finally, if all else fails, remember to smile. It won’t change the fact that you are still at work, but it will help you remember that we are all in this together, at least until the next public holiday!