It’s that time of the year again. You know it. That strange transition period as summer draws to a close marked by the return from your vacation (all caused by that big round yellow thing in the sky).
While achieving work-life balance in our daily lives is important, taking quality time off work is even better for your health (both mental and physical). Other benefits include improved concentration, productivity and creativity levels for when you do return to work1.
As we return to work and resume the hecticness of our pre-summer schedules, it’s also normal to feel overwhelmed or experience that bout of post vacation blues. Suddenly the office parking lot is full, there is a recharged buzz amongst your peers and the reality of your return to work is represented by an overflowing email inbox that needs to be sorted.
To put this into context, the average office worker receives 121 emails per day1. If you are one of those individuals that never checks their email (unlikely) when off work this equates to:
Number of days out of the office x 121 emails per day = An uncontrollable inbox (and growing)
What measures can you adopt to ensure your first few days upon your return from summer are more bearable?
1. Block your calendar
Take time for yourself to regroup. You won’t be able to get up to speed unless you reserve time to review and update yourself on projects, priorities and expectations.
2. Delete/Archive all Non-Relevant Emails
Be ruthless. Delete all spam related emails and archive any emails that no longer bear relevance. Unsubscribe from emails as you delete them. A cleaner inbox can be achieved if there is less email in the first place.
3. Sort by Subject
If you receive a multitude of emails with the same email subject sort your emails by subject and by date. Reading the latest email allows you to capture the entire history of the email discussion and respond to those emails in the chain where necessary.
4. Set up Folders
Creating folders within your inbox allows you to easily view who is emailing you in one place based on a certain project/topic and address them in your own time.
5. Utilize the ‘Canned Responses’ Feature
You may find that yourself responding to emails with the same response. Many email platforms offer a ‘Canned Email Response’ template that allows you send the same message but customize it to different recipients.
We hope these tips will prepare you for your next return to work. Christmas is only 103 days away as it is….