Back to work, back to school, back to business. Yesterday’s long summer days seem like a far-gone dream compared to your buzzing office. Work is piling up and you’re in meeting after meeting with little time to get anything done.
The problem with this time of year is that so many of us hit the ground running. One day you’re on a beach and the next you’re swamped or staring at a computer.
There’s no transition time. Unless you make it happen.
Top 10 tips to smooth the transition from summer to back to work
1. Walk or bike to work
Weather permitting, there’s no better way to transition into the new season than by appreciating all that the fall has to offer. Breathe in the fresh, crisp air and watch the leaves change colour during your commute to work. Exercise is a great motivator and mood-booster, just when we need it the most. Think of your commute as a transition—and one that you have the power to make count. Even if you have to train or bus into town, consider getting off early to walk the rest of the way.
2. Take a break every hour
Stand up, walk around and stretch every hour. Grab some water. Go to the washroom. Take a break from your computer. Not only is it important to stay mobile throughout the day, removing yourself from a challenge or task can offer a fresh perspective.
3. Do something active every day
Boost your heart rate every day. Some businesses offer yoga or workout classes at lunch or discounts to local gyms. Take advantage of those activities. Bike to work. Staying active is good for your heart, health, happiness and mind.
4. Stay social
Summer is a social time of year. For some people, the social aspect of summer is even part of its allure. Regardless of whether you’re an extrovert or an introvert, we’re social by nature. Set aside time to see people you love. Not only that, consider joining a club, hosting work events and seeking out social activities that make you happy.
5. Make time to do what you love
We often set aside time during summer vacations to do what we love. For me, that’s reading, writing, being outside and seeing good friends—all of which can still happen during the back-to-work busyness of fall. But only if we make it a priority. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you may even be doing what you love for a career.
6. Plan a trip or fun weekend
Some of us need trips and big events to look forward to in order to keep us motivated and happy. Consider making yourself a top-10-places-you-want-to-visit list and start planning how to tick those off. Working toward that trip could be a great motivator. Or, take the pressure off and stack your weekends, mornings, evenings and breaks with things you look forward to.
7. Take on challenging projects
I recently wrote a blog post on 5 work-life balance hacks that companies should start doing. One of the hacks focuses on the three intrinsic motivators: mastery, autonomy and purpose. What better way to get excited about being back at work than by having a strong sense of purpose and seeing a project through to the finish?
8. Set work-life boundaries
Foodee CEO and co-founder Ryan Spong wrote a post on what past generations teach us about workplace culture. In it, he discusses the importance of creating a positive, flexible workplace culture. Why not work how, where and when you want? We think it should be up to you to find your happy, productive place and set work-life boundaries that work for everyone.
9. Embrace fall’s hygge
Hygge is a trendy Danish and Norwegian word that explains a feeling of coziness and comfort. Joy in the simple things in life. Be it reading a good book, making warming foods, cuddling with friends or just enjoying your cozy surroundings. Despite its infamously harsh, dark winters, Denmark is always among the list of the world’s happiest countries. Why? The country is obsessed with hygge and it’s cited as a top reason behind their happiness. Find ways to add hygge to your workplace and home life.
10. Treat yourself to good food at work
Rather than wallowing in a soggy sandwich while catching up on past out-of-office emails, take a proper break. Away from your desk. Take the time to reset, restart and refuel. Treat yourself during this tough transition to good food at work. Why not eat with good friends and colleagues? You might be craving a farm-fresh salad full of protein, a warming chili or a full-stacked, freshly-made sandwich. (We can even help you feed yourself and your team—or entire office—if there’s no time for meal planning in the back-to-work chaos.)