Summer break is over, the school year has started, and it’s time to get back to work. It isn’t easy to make the transition from summer break to work mode. Here are some tips and tricks to manage that transition and hit the ground running.
Empty Your Inbox
You probably have upwards of a hundred emails waiting for you in your inbox when you come back to work. Some of them are incredibly important, and most of them are not. Take the time, empty your inbox, and add whatever actionable tasks are discovered within to your to do list. It might be drudgery, and take an inordinate amount of time, but you can start with a clean slate when you’re done – pun intended.
You might have been on vacation, but the demands of your customers didn’t take any breaks. You’re probably coming back to work with a mountain of things to be done, and you need to prioritize your tasks accordingly. Spend your first day sorting them out. It might seem counter intuitive not to jump straight into what needs to be done – but without deciding what needs to be done first, you might just be setting yourself up for problems down the road. Make sure you know the deadlines for every task, and that you have a big picture understanding of where things are holding now. Sometimes the task with a deadline two weeks out is more important than the one due tomorrow.
Get Up To Speed
On that note, having the big picture is important. If you don’t know what’s happened while you were away, sit down with managers and coworkers and find out. Things may have changed. Take the time, and don’t be afraid to ask the obvious questions. Far better to ask than to waste a day’s work on something unneeded and unnecessary. If you’re a manager, call a meeting with your team to find out where things are standing. Go around the room, get status reports and feedback, and plan from there.
Coming back to work has its own challenges. Empty your inbox, prioritize your tasks, and get up to speed on what you’ve missed while you were away. It might take a day or two, but you’ll be positioned for success and back in the swing of things in no time at all.