Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Eileen Habelow of Randstad
Labor Day has come and gone and so has summer vacation. If you’re like most full-time employees you won’t have another break until Thanksgiving or perhaps even Christmas, and the thought of that three month stretch could be just short of terrifying.
But I have good news. The beginning of fall can feel like just that – a new beginning. Randstad’s latest Work Monitor survey shows that 73 percent of employees believe they perform noticeably better at work after they’ve had a few days off. That means even a short break such as long fall weekend could give you the jump start you need to stay motivated until the holidays, as long as you start it off right.
For generations people of all ages have struggled with the “back-to-school” grind that comes with fall, so why not adopt a few best practices that have worked for hundreds of people (regardless of age) around this time every year? Dive into a new “school” year armed with a few old-school habits.
Take on your workday like you would the first day of school.
Make a good night’s sleep your top priority. Starting the day off well-rested will give you a good attitude and help you stay alert and clear headed later in the day. But a good night’s sleep isn’t the only variable in starting your day off right. Embrace the routine of the school year and set a new morning schedule for yourself. Give yourself enough time in the morning to keep from feeling rushed and disorganized. Allowing yourself just a few extra minutes in the morning will help you feel less stressed and more prepared to face the day.
Get your school supplies in order.
What do you need to do your job well? Make a list of all the supplies you use on a regular basis and make sure your office is fully stocked. Get a new calendar out, reassess your filing system and even consider your style of note-taking. Being organized and prepared will ensure that you have everything you need at a moment’s notice and will save you the added stress of hunting for things later.
Arrange a “parent-teacher” conference.
Communication is key to success and revisiting priorities at work keeps them fresh in our mind and keeps us on target. Schedule a time to meet with your boss to set end-of-year goals and to gain feedback on your performance. Even a short, casual discussion could open up an unforeseen opportunity or at the very least, impress her/him with your desire to hit the ground running.
Don’t forget extracurricular.
Unemployment isn’t just sending people back to school but is also placing a heavier burden on those still with jobs. According to Randstad’s recent Work Monitor survey, 55 percent of employees say their workloads have increased since the beginning of 2010. In order to keep up with the rising workload and the increased pressure for productivity and results, it’s important to allow yourself regular breaks. Step out for coffee, take a lap around the office or simply engage in friendly conversation with a co-worker. Joining a recreation league or a book club after work can also help pull your mind away from the office.
How do you deal with the daily grind between now and the upcoming holiday season?
Eileen Habelow, Ph.D., is the senior vice president of Organizational Development with Randstad, the world’s second largest provider of HR solutions and staffing.
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