It’s the season for holidays, extended long weekends and breaks. They are amazing for replenishment but that doesn’t always equate to lots of rest. Replenishment can come in many forms: physical, emotional and spiritual. I know for me that spending a week with the family, in nature where I can wild swim every day will have me topped up to overflowing.
The way in which we re-enter our work life afterwards can make all the difference.
Say for example I arrived back from holiday on a Sunday and had my first meeting booked in for 09:30am on the Monday morning followed by a series of meetings for the whole day. This would be a massive error and could have me deplete again very quickly, undoing all of the holiday replenishment. I now factor in a landing day after a break and this is what mine consists of.
✅ Action 1: Creativity capture
Holidays can prompt creativity so I make sure I have captured all of my ideas. I will not action any of them immediately as some may be long-term plans but I will have them in mind as I enter the next phases.
✅ Action 2: Clear the inbox
I go through my whole inbox which could have hundreds of messages and deal with each email in under 2 minutes. If an email is going to take longer than 2 minutes then I will add it to my task list.
✅ Action 3: Planning
Although I have all of my plans in Trello, after a holiday I like to do a big brain dump of projects, tasks and actions under the following pillars: health, relationships, career, personal development, wealth and also general life admin. I then refocus on my overall main intentions for the year and see if any of the new creative ideas change those intentions. Then I create top priority tasks under each pillar for the next week.
✅ Action 4: Tasks for Landing Day
The first three actions could take from 09:30-14:00. I will create one 90-minute focus time block for the afternoon and complete the A1 task in career. The completion of the top priority career task will help to re-establish and breed momentum for the rest of the week.
😎 A word on attitude
I remember a time when I wouldn’t be able to sleep the night before returning to work, dreading the return. An anxious anticipation of what might happen. For a few days after a holiday, I would be in a bad mood, feeling like I was operating in treacle and procrastinating getting started on anything meaningful. Beware this red flag. Often holidays help reconnect us with our life values, what’s truly important to us. Negative feelings towards work can be in indication that it might be time for your next career pivot.
If you notice this over the summer, do drop me a message to talk about next steps.
Keep Opening Up,
PS The latest inspiring stories episode of the Women in STEM Career & Confidence podcast has landed. My guest Bahijja Raimi-Abraham is a pharmacist, Lecturer in Pharmaceutics at King’s College London and Founder and Academic Lead of King’s College London Fight the Fakes. In this episode Bahija speaks candidly about her own mental health struggles and how she created a powerful set of leadership values for her group from her favourite quotes. Listen on your preferred platform 🎧 iTunes 🎧 Spotify 🎧 Other Platforms