Why that holiday feeling?
Have you noticed, when you go on an extended holiday, the first few days last forever, time seems to be elongated? You visit different places, meet new people, and enjoy different experiences. Toward the middle of the week, time starts to speed up. Then before you know it, you are anxiously grappling on to the last couple days of your break. Then it’s over and thoughts are redirected to your home life and work.
Whilst at a holiday destination, mindfulness is typically and unwittingly optimized. Fundamentally, this is due being in a stimulating, most often unfamiliar, environment.
As a result, you are alert, open to new experiences, and excited about exploring and engaging with the new people you meet. You are mindful. This state of being is highly exhilarating and exciting whilst profoundly relaxing. ‘The holiday feeling.’
Still got that feelin!!! whoo hoo
So, when you return to your workplace, where you’ll invariably take up your more familiar routines, how do you keep those invigorating holiday feelings alive?
The good news is, with a few practical strategies, it’s possible to consciously manage the daily demands of our professional lives and hold onto much of those positive holiday feelings all year round.
Strategy 1 – Always seek opportunities to be present and mindful.
Work related routine and deadlines are major holiday spoilers.
To interrupt their effect, seek out new and exciting ways to engage in your work activities. Ultimately, giving yourself permission to disrupt your previous work routine, by controlling your mindset around this specific strategy, is crucial for success.
Here’s some practical examples that can get you started:
- Blend different transport options for getting to and from your workplace. Get off public transport at different stops once a week, which will force you to walk unfamiliar, interesting new, routes. Take your bike in the car and park somewhere that offers you a beautiful bike ride to and from your workplace.
- Seek out the local amenities and schedule in a treat for yourself throughout the week. It could be that you visit a series of coffee shops and read a book over a latte, or you may value your physical health and go to the local pool to do laps twice a week.
- Throughout the day in the workplace, schedule regular, 15–20-minute relaxed meetings with different colleagues to discuss personal interests or what funny things have happened (outside of work) that week.
Put your holiday goggles back on during your work day by taking a walk to these beats.
Strategy 2 – Control and don’t be controlled by daily tasks.
All sorts of time planning strategies are used by people to ensure productivity and goal attainment in the workplace. Change the game by employing ‘timeboxing’ as your time management strategy to optimise your energy level ebbs and flows.
What is timeboxing I hear?
Glad you asked. Start by mindfully observing when your concentration and energy levels consistently plateau during your workday. This will often precede a period of high intensity focus, immobility, or a meal. By being able to eventually predict these events during your day, will empower you block out these times for activity that assists you to switch off from work for a while and allow for an activity that revitalises you.
Some simple practical examples include:
- If you’re working from home like many people, eat your lunch outside, like by the pool or in the garden, which you often do during the holidays or on weekends.
- Timebox afternoon walks on the beach, in a park, or round the neighbourhood a non-negotiable 2-3 times a week. The sounds of nature will subconsciously reconnect you with holiday experiences and feelings.
- When you can predict your high performance, productivity time blocks during your working day, which depends on every individual, make sure you establish an expectation where colleagues know that this is interruption free time for you. These timeboxed periods will allow for guilt free recharge times for recharging your battery.
Check out ‘Indistractable’ by Nir Eyal for greater detail on the simple productivity system of ‘Timeboxing’.
Strategy 3 – Strategically schedule worry time and control pressure, stress, anxiety.
Consistently access that innovative, creative, clear, mindset that seems to come naturally when you’re holidaying.
Excessive cognitive load due to work related stress, pressure, and demands, inhibit our ability to perform in a highly effective state of cognitive functioning. This negatively impacts our performance.
A strategy that has proven reliable for minimizing this effect for my clients is ‘worry time’.
Once again, setting worry time could be an ideal opportunity to use timeboxing. Allocate an appropriate time during your workday where you can permit yourself to visit your thoughts related to what important issues have you concerned.
This strategy will give you permission to control your troubling thoughts and direct your thinking to the present, which will improve your focus and performance on positive outcomes instead.
These 3 strategies will facilitate experiencing those positive holiday feelings, guilt free, as a natural part of your day. They will also guarantee your daily productivity and work performance are highly satisfying.
Ultimately, by optimising those positive, energizing, holiday feelings you will enjoy greater levels of work life satisfaction.
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