As many of you may have noticed, we’ve been shut down and enjoying ourselves for the past month. We try hard to practice what we preach, and we therefore schedule time for rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, and re-inspiration. That’s our August.

In September, it’s time to jump back into our work with fresh perspectives – but I have to admit that, as much as we love our work and our clients, it can be tough. So as I enjoyed my last few days of R&R&R&R, I also pondered how I could, Thoughtfully, ease back into work while still bringing the best of my time off with me.

What I came up with might seem a bit basic, but I’ve found, over the years, that it really works. Here’s how to ease back in when at least part of you wants at least a few more days off:

  • Make the most of the time you have off – I will admit that I loved my August off. I dove into rest and relaxation and took many, many opportunities to go slow and to enjoy myself. Even the last few days, as I caught up on a month’s worth of emails and listed my to-dos, I took conscious moments and breaths and relished the beauty around me and the leisurely pace I’ve adopted for the month.
  • Remember what you love (or at least like) – I am lucky in that I love what I “have to” do in my work. Those of you who work directly with me probably can tell that. One of the easiest ways to ease into something that at least part of you is dreading or resisting is to remember what you love about what you “have to” do. I’m eager to reconnect with clients. I’m excited for programs and presentations on the calendar. I’m impatient to hear how projects have progressed.
  • Keep some of the slowness even as you go fast – I can operate on over-overdrive. And I can learn not to. I am determined – and excited – to remember to pause more during my day and to refresh and rejuvenate on a daily (or sometimes hourly) basis, even during my most busiest times. Research has shown that our minds and bodies work best when we schedule – and take – frequent breaks and when we allow ourselves fun, enjoyment, and pleasure even during tough tasks. I know this, and I teach this. Now I’m determined – and excited – to practice it even more.
  • Find the joy, the play, and the fun – Again, research has shown that our minds work and create best when we allow time for laughter, engagement, community, and play. As you ease back into work – even if you’re just easing back in from a summer mindset or the Labor Day weekend – if you find moments, tasks, and/or people to enjoy and laugh with (not at), your easing will be easier, and you’ll most likely get more done.

Time off is a gift, and it’s a gift we can keep with us so that our time on is more productive, enjoyable, and fulfilling. By being Thoughtful – present, intentional, and authentic – and finding ways to bring your best to your work, as well as the best of your time off to your time on – you can keep your gift for longer.

How do you easily ease back into work when you’ve been off?
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