How to Deal with the Daily Grind Between Now and the Holiday Season

clean-deskEditor’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.

* Follow Work Happy Now on Twitter. Join over 3,500 people who get happiness ideas, productivity tips, and thought provoking quotes. @workhappynow

* Barbara Swafford of Blogging Without a Blog is an inspiration to me. She introduced me to many friends who have helped me grow my blog. Thank you Barbara for being a great friend.

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Image courtesy of jfeuchter

12 thoughts on “How to Deal with the Daily Grind Between Now and the Holiday Season”

  1. Hi Eileen

    Great article and I love how you mixed in the school-student analogy.
    It is so true, proper preparation and communication are key to everything in life – so work happiness and stress reduction can be greatly helped by these steps.

  2. Karl,
    This is a great idea…even though I am unemployed right now, I just sat down and got a fresh start…and Davina was called upon to rewrite my resume – a fresh approach

    I also started on renewing Christmas – well in truth last year. There are no small children in my life right now, and my children still need some financial assistance but I think giving $ is not about the magic of Christmas…so last year we became each others Santa Claus and found a piece of magic to put in each others stocking and then each person contributed a food they loved for dinner – it made for an absolutely delight full experience and gave a family tradition a fresh start…

    Thanks for honoring Barbara too – what a great teacher

  3. I deal it by not looking at my job as a job, and holidays as holidays =) Why not see my job as fun, and holidays as fun too? Sometimes when we dream about the holiday season, it makes working so much tougher than it really is.

  4. It’s a great idea to approach our everyday routine in a novel and unique way, particularly if we have a very monotonous job. This can really add some new life and energy to what we’re doing. I like the tips as they provide a good perspective on doing so. I think it would be helpful to segment different “seasons” per say, as a new time to start getting motivated and bringing ourselves into focus. Thanks!

  5. Hi Patricia, That sounds like a beautiful Christmas tradition. Too often we get caught up in giving gifts instead of giving love. My parents’ gift is flying us home for Thanksgiving or Christmas each year. This time spent with them is more important than anything else they could give us.

    I loved honoring Barbara, she is an amazing blogger that needs light shed upon her.

  6. I’m definitely grateful that I do something that genuinely interests me, so I don’t even end up thinking in terms of “taking days off.” Often I have to be physically pried away from what I am doing by people close to me. I want that for everyone in their careers.

  7. Eileen,

    You make a great point about how giving yourself a little extra time in the morning so that you do not feel rushed can reduce stress for the rest of the day. For me, giving myself enough time in the morning to make my bed and do my dishes noticeably improves my mood and helps me feel calmer for the rest of the day, as compared to when I am rushing out the door. Thanks for the post!

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