Do feel like your work motivation disappeared with the sun tan? Post-holiday blues are a real thing. The weeks in the run up seem to drag, whilst the actual break flies by, and you find yourself back at your desk; possibly slumped over a straining-at-the seams inbox.
Did you promise yourself “this year will be different”? You had visions of returning refreshed and re-invigorated. Instead, you are counting down the minutes to when you can leave!
I can’t lie. I’m pining for our recent family holiday. I’m on a real vacation come down. You can feel this way, even when you love what you do and manage your own diary.
I’m missing the lazy mornings, the spontaneous planning (yes, that’s a thing) the fresh air, the daily discovery of new places to eat, coffee runs and playground.
I’m missing not having to worry about food shopping, cleaning and washing.
Ultimately I’m missing the suspension of “grown up” duties that always happens when we are away. As soon as we are back, it is back to a routine, ironically, bearing in mind I am a “type-A” character with control issues, I find routine quite frustrating.
There are lots of benefits of vacation living that can create better work-life balance (in fact, I’ve listed most of them here.) When I asked, on my Facebook Page, how people get their motivation back after the summer holidays, the most popular response to book the next one! However, what about the time in-between?
Today I want to talk about the other ways you can get your motivation back after a holiday.
These are the top three ways I get my work mojo back after a break:
Step away from the emails
One of the many great tips I gleaned from “How to be F*king Awesome” was how to be MORE in control of my schedule. I had developed a corporate influenced habit of checking my emails first thing every day. This would then drag me into “busy-work”, deleting the emails that I didn’t want and catching up with things that have already been sorted. At least an hour activity with no real outcome!
Now, I get a couple of things done first that energise me (like writing this blog) before I hit the email. My out of office makes it clear how to contact me about urgent issues, so there is nothing that can’t wait!
Schedule some meetings
I know, sounds counter intuitive right? To schedule something in! I gain my energy from people – to hear their ideas and their businesses. To make connections and make new and interesting plans. Part of what I love about being on holiday is the “newness” of it all. It sparks interesting things in my mind and opens my eyes to new thoughts and perspectives. So, I love to continue this in my work.
What energises you? Make sure that this is within your diary for your first week back.
Don’t burn out! It can be easy to chuck yourself back into work to play “catch up”. Often there has been an all hands to the deck approach before you went away – don’t hit the ground running! Consider the top 5 things you need to do each day to make a real difference to your work.
Even if you aren’t in control of your diary, pay attention to what you are doing and why you are doing it, rather than simply going through the motions.
You will finish each day feeling accomplished and this always helps you feel motivated. Before you know it, you will have been back at work for a week, completed 20 actions and be ready for you next day or days off!
Finally, a quick note. Sometimes the time away that a vacation gives us is the head space to reflect on life, work and ourselves generally. You get to revisit the “you” without the day to day stressors of work and it may be the lack of motivation is actually a sign that you don’t want to be in that job or company any longer. Pay attention during these steps to see what energies you. If you find that doesn’t exist in your work place any longer, maybe it’s time to make a change.
Let me know how these work for you. Are there any other that you would add? Come along to my Facebook Group and join in the conversation with like-minded working parents.