September is here, so for Teachers, pupils, students and many more of us, the holiday is nearly over. For many people, the transition period from holiday to work can seem hard, there really is something satisfying about not having to set the alarm clock. However, time away from work often gives us opportunity to assess what does and doesn’t work in terms of our work lives and the first day back gives us a chance to make some changes.
Make use of your natural energy levels
We all have times of the day when we’re more alert than others and it’s likely that in our spare time we maximise on these strengths. For instance, we might schedule a run for first thing in the morning because we know we will have more energy than in the evening. Use this insight to plan your work day. If you’re more alert in the morning, schedule time to work on important projects. Start work earlier if necessary to make your afternoons shorter, if they aren’t as productive.
Take part in less meetings
It’s likely that whilst you were away from work you didn’t take part in many meetings but you still managed to communicate with the important people in your life and had structure to your day. If you work for a company that has far too many meetings, question whether you need to attend them all. Meetings should be about discussion and decision making but often they are about sharing information, which once a month would be fine. If you find yourself taking part in daily/weekly meetings that take up too much time and where your input isn’t always necessary, decline and ask to see a copy of the minutes. You will know what is happening within the company, without having to sit through hours of waffle.
Don’t allow people to waste your time
Time is precious, whether it’s at work or away from it. However, we often feel obliged to let people wander into our offices or constantly interrupt us at work, whereas at home they would have to knock our door. Use this policy at work, if your door is always open people will think nothing of walking in and disturbing you. Make it a policy to close it when you’re doing something important and close the blinds if necessary. Advise your colleagues that certain times of the day/week you are not to be disturbed or ask them to book an appointment with you.
Make your emails more concise
It’s likely that you’ll return to work and will have emails to wade through. You won’t have time to write lengthy replies to them all, so get into the habit of being as concise as possible and getting to the point, this will save you time in the future. When you’ve responded to emails, move them to an appropriate folder. Make it regular practice, to keep your inbox for new emails only, this will help you to be more organised.
September might feel like the end of the Summer but it can also be the start of new more efficient working practices that will save you time and increase your productivity, start as you mean to go on.
What holiday behaviours can you transfer to your work environment? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor