Just yesterday, you were combing through the South Beach sands, seconds away from the blue ocean, at the vacation of a lifetime. And...we’re back. You refresh your inbox and cringe as the flood of new messages rolls in.
Vacations are a great way to recharge, but returning to the office after a vacation can undo all your effort. The key is in the preparation for the vacation, so you don’t return to an unmanageable work pile.
Here are a few tips to help you master the art of organization and power through the workload that may await you when returning from vacation:
1. Throw Out the Clutter
In today’s age, human capital management software like Namely provides excellent options for document storage and sharing. Instead of letting hard copies of bills and approvals pile up, scan them into a folder in a workflow manager for easy access. Maybe you won’t scan your niece’s drawing of a pony, or throw away your top contributor award, but don’t let clutter from having physical papers or objects all over your desk suffocate you.
2. Develop a Plan
Before you leave for vacation, develop a plan for task completion while you’re gone so no torches are dropped and you won’t come back to an office on fire.
Using a workflow manager like Namely’s, create a project with categories outlining each part of the project. Under each category, you can add tasks or individual responsibilities and assign them to your team members. Team members can take it from there, adding tasks, communicating with each other, and emailing updates. Plus, you can track your team’s progress while you’re gone on your mobile phone.
While you’re on vacation, don’t worry about reminding your employees to meet deadlines. The workflow manager can send automatic reminders for you.
3. Do One Thing at a Time
If you didn’t plan so well, you might be overwhelmed with questions and requests, along with all of your regularly scheduled meetings that may reveal more surprises.
First, write down everything you need to do. Next, categorize your work pile and sort tasks by deadline or in order of priority. You can even place all tasks in a workflow manager, eliminating the risk of losing a paper list. Invite your team to jump in and help you power through some of the stuff that stresses you out the most.
4. Listen to Music... And Dance a Little
A study by MusicWorks revealed that 65 percent of business owners found music boosts employee productivity. Eighty-one percent of retail owners, and 84 percent of owners in hospitality, believe that listening to music while working increases morale.
There’s nothing like your favorite song to help take you out of your current state of mind and refocus your thoughts. Plus, putting a beat behind your actions might help bring fun to an otherwise monotonous work pile. Get a rhythm going and move around a little. An article by Buffer explains that our brains release chemicals that help us relax and think more clearly when we exercise.
5. Eat Lunch Away from Your Desk
True, you have a lot to do, but the last thing you want to do is sacrifice your refueling time. Eating lunch away from your desk has been proven to increase feelings of relaxation and reduce cognitive control that impairs attention to detail.
So, take an hour and go out for lunch with your co-workers. When you return, you will have the fuel to power through faster with more accuracy.
Don’t let the post-vacation work pile ruin all the time you spent relaxing. Instead, prepare as much as possible, don’t let clutter obstruct you, and allow yourself to step away to recharge.
Let technology do some work for you and prioritize, completing one thing at a time. It will all get done.