Summer is over – and the harsh reality of your first “real” week back at work is probably crashing down on you now, pretty hard. Even if you didn’t actually have a summer break (aka – you’re not a teacher), work tends to slow down significantly during the summer as everyone is cramming in holiday vacations with their family and people have senioritis every day. But, we are back folks, which means it is time to rev-up again and get past your post-summer slump.
How to Readjust to Work Post-Summer Slump
Consider this your transition week back to “real life.” You are probably exhausted by the crazy meetings, emails, and work requests that came your way this week – um, this is actually your new normal (or old normal). Regardless, your work output and energy needs to increase as this is the most important time of year for you to prove your worth.
I went to a NASCAR race last week and they had “Rev-Up Girls” (no, I’m not kidding), so consider this your rev-up warning. Far too often, employees stay in a post-summer slump: they don’t get up to speed with the level or intensity of projects, they are slow to respond, or have a general sense of lethargy/annoyance. It doesn’t sound detrimental to your career, but it absolutely can be.
Now is the time that your manager is starting to think about things like Performance Excellence, Talent Management, and your raise or promotion for next year. And if you are slowly chugging along, you are not leaving the level of performance capabilities that you have delivered the rest of the year. And not only that, but you are missing a huge opportunity to step up and take on a bigger role (for all of the other employees who are still slumping).
5 Ways to Push Past the Summer Slump
- Tame the email beast on Sunday. This is not a long-term solution, but sometimes your inbox becomes an animal – and trying to answer emails while juggling meetings and other requests, is just too much. So take two or so hours on Sunday (or Saturday, whichever works best for you), and sit with splurge-coffee drink, and answer emails. At the very least, sort through the pile and eliminate the inbox dread.
- Schedule meetings with yourself. If you treated your own work with the same attention that you gave to others’ requests, you would be a bonafide superstar. It is a difficult habit to get into, but scheduling an hour or two throughout the week to tackle your larger projects, and focusing only on them during those times, will help you increase your output and focus your attention appropriately.
- Take on a new project – and the more outside of the box, the better. I know this sounds a bit counterintuitive – you are moving slowly at work, so taking on additional work sounds dreadful. But the excitement and the demands of a new project, will instantly change your focus and your dedication will shine through.
- Get a mentor, or be a mentee. Sometimes all you need is to get out of your own head and connect with others. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked away from a mentor/mentee conversation feeling inspired and centered. Getting some advice from someone you admire or being the source of advice to someone else, will remind you about what’s important to you – and help you manage your internal thought-track at work.
- Rev-up with your favorite music, or my favs, at the start of each day (and post-meeting dread). My personal favorite is listening to a few Pentatonix songs in my ear buds until I start doing a mini-dance at my desk. Either way, it is all about mindset here – so find something that gets you energized and start relying on it when feel a slump creeping in.