Getting Back into the Swing of Things

7 Jan 2014

Does anyone else still feel like the holiday haze hasn’t quite cleared? By holiday haze, I mean that feeling of slight confusion everyone seems to have when they come back from their Christmas and New Years break. I was lucky enough to have the full two weeks off, which I enjoyed immensely, but am definitely paying the price for it.

After two weeks of sleeping late, eating too much, and having the odd tipple, I was struggling through the holiday haze yesterday (and still a bit today, if I’m honest). I did, however, foresee this struggle and I had a plan for overcoming it. There were two things that I did to help get myself back into the swing of my work life:

1. Prepare:
This doesn’t seem entirely fair to tell you now, but the first thing I did to get back into the swing of things was actually done before my holidays started. I knew that I would come back and feel a little bit lost, so I made sure that all the Activities I had to do my first week back were even more detailed than usual. Not only did they have the usual ‘This is what I need to do’, but I also made sure I put a little bit of my thought process for why I needed to do them in the description field. This allowed me to quickly read through my own thoughts and get up-to-speed on each Activity quickly and without having to spend too much extra effort…effort that was needed for making multiple cups of coffee.

2. Refresh your memory:
This is an important one. Everyone, no matter how diligent they were at answering emails over the holiday period, had some email backlog to clear when they came back. It is unavoidable. Before I replied to any of these emails, I wanted to make sure I was fully aware of any and all relevant details about the person I was replying to, including any tickets raised or potential contact they had with my colleagues over our two week break. So, before replying, I had a look at the History subtab on their contact record. This gave me the chance to see if anything had been discussed over the break or if they’d had any support questions. It also gave me the opportunity to refresh my own memory of my previous communications with them. This way I was able to respond to them without missing out any important details.

To tell the full truth, I suppose there was one other thing I did to get back into the swing of things and that was to take my time. I devoted some time to stretching the old typing muscles (it’s amazing how many typos a single person can make in one sentence after a two week break). I also took a bit of time to catch up with my colleagues, found out how their holidays were spent, get a bit of the office atmosphere back.

All in all, the transition back hasn’t been too painful. I know the holiday haze won’t fully dissipate until the end of the week, but I feel like both my preparation and my memory refreshing have certainly helped to clear away a lot of it. Now…where did I put that cup of coffee?