The summer holiday season is coming to an end and for many of us that September ‘back to school’ feeling has arrived. Saying goodbye to the sun and freedom not to look at your emails can feel desperately hard so here are our top tips for beating the back to work blues in the face of the British Autumn.
1. Schedule tasks according to your energy levels. The power of the siesta is not to be under estimated so if your holiday took you to another time zone you might have trouble getting back into synch. Think about the times of day when you are likely to have the most energy, attention and focus and tackle your priority tasks then.
2. Take breaks. Nothing makes the first day back to work longer than staying seated at your desk without a break until lunch. Try taking a short break and walking around for 2 minutes every hour. A change in posture, fresh air and giving your eyes a rest from staring at a screen are all beneficial.
3. Transform your workspace. Heat, light and noise all have an effect on your day to day wellbeing and productivity. After two weeks in the sun it’s very easy to suffer withdrawal symptoms from spending more time outside than usual. We suggest checking that your workstation is set up correctly, decluttering your desk and even moving to take advantage of any natural light or investing in a desk lamp.
4. Bring the outside in. The benefits of Biophilia or bringing nature into the office to increase wellbeing and productivity are very well documented. You could add a potted plant to your desk or put up prints of nature photography on the walls to add some greenery to your office.
5. Don’t read your emails in chronological order. Instead of reading your emails by date, sort them by either subject or by sender. The idea behind this is that you’re more interested in finding out what happened while you were gone, as opposed to when things happened. Using this technique also makes it easier to delete any emails that are no longer relevant.
6. Rethink meetings. We attend too many meetings, so if your diary has been filled with scheduled meetings while you have been away, ask yourself what the purpose is and what the organiser needs from you and do you really need to attend. Stay standing (to keep alert) and avoid having food or drinks, which turn meetings into social occasions more likely to drag on.