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Everyone Should Know These 10 Tips Before Returning To Work After Vacation

Everyone Should Know These 10 Tips Before Returning To Work After Vacation

You’ve spent countless days waking up late, binge watching your favorite TV shows, and laying on the beach.

You’re enjoying yourself and then you come to an uncomfortable realization: it’s time to go back to work.

Making the transition from vacation to work may not be an event you look forward to, but it’s going to happen sooner or later.

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Here are ten tips to help you smooth your reentry into the daily grind so you can stay relaxed…and get things done.

1.Tidy up your work-space first.

Chances are you’ll be greeted by piles of unopened mail, files, and other office items sitting on your desk. Rather than ignore these items, take a few minutes to process them. Open envelopes, chuck junk mail, file items, and place items in your inbox. The longer you wait, the more likely these items will be sitting around your desk or workstation later in the week.

2. Undo your away messages on your voice mail and email.

Before you get buried in a bunch of work, update your away messages on your voice mail and email accounts. This is an easily overlooked task; so it’s a good idea to attend to these items as soon as you can. Now is also a good time to check and write down your voice messages and clear out your mailbox.

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3. Briefly review your calendar.

You’ve been away for some time, so you’ll probably need a little reminder as to what is going on with your work. Scan your calendar for the next couple of days to get an idea of upcoming meetings, due dates, projects and other concerns. You’ll be better prepared for the days ahead and won’t be completely caught off guard when it comes to getting ready for that client meeting at 10 AM on Thursday or preparing a report due on Friday at noon.

4. Don’t read your emails in chronological order.

Instead of reading your emails by date, sort them either by subject or by sender. The idea behind this is that you’re more interested in finding out what happened while you were gone, as opposed to when things happened. Using this technique also makes it easier to delete any emails that are no longer relevant, such as old news updates, expired offers or coupons.

5. Make a prioritized list of tasks.

As you review your emails, postal mail, voice messages and the like, you’ll be reminded of all the stuff you were working on before you left for vacation. Instead of working on the first item that crosses your path, make a conscious effort to prioritize your work. What projects were you working on before you left the office? What are the five most important tasks to accomplish your first day back?

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6. Do one thing at a time.

You may feel the urge to work on three different things at the same time in order to catch up on work. However, this is not the most efficient approach. You’ll only confuse and stress yourself out! Make a point to focus your mind and to only work on one item or task at a time. You’ve just come back from a nice relaxing vacation; why stress yourself out if you can avoid it?

7. Remove unnecessary distractions.

To make your transition back to work go as smoothly as possible, get serious about cutting out obvious distractions. This way, you can catch up on things as quickly and efficiently as possible, without being bothered every five minutes. Switch off your cell phone, close out of any social media accounts, and close out of computer programs and applications.

8. Make plans to enjoy yourself the first week back.

You’re back at work, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself or treat yourself well. Scheduling a lunch date or two with friends can make the week back seem a bit less brutal. Treat yourself to your favorite beverage at the local café during your coffee break, or download a new podcast or book to make your commute a bit more interesting.

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9. Leave the office on time.

Do you tend to stay at work late the first few days back from a vacation? Just because you were on vacation doesn’t mean you have to put in more hours at work! Don’t play the hero. Make a point to leave the office on time. Set a timer or reminder, if need be, to help you get out the door.

10. Cut yourself a break.

Returning back to work after a vacation is a transition period. Don’t beat yourself up over how long it’s taking you to catch up on things! It may take several days for you to finally get readjusted…and that’s perfectly fine. Stay calm, focused and relaxed. You’ll be back to your old routine at work before you know it.

Which of these tips are you going to try to ease back into the work routine after your vacation? Leave a comment below.

Featured photo credit: New Office/Philip Whitehouse via flickr.com

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Rashelle Isip

Blogger, Consultant, and Author

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Last Updated on May 20, 2020

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

What Are Analytical Skills (And How to Strengthen Them For Success)

Everybody makes bad decisions. Some people, however, are more capable of making better decisions that inch them closer to success.

These individuals are not ruled by emotions, desires, or hunches. Rather, they depend on their analytical skills to overcome challenges regardless of urgency or complexity.

What Are Analytical Skills?

According to Richards J. Heuer Jr., a former veteran of the CIA,[1]

“Thinking analytically is a skill like carpentry or driving a car. It can be taught, it can be learned, and it can improve with practice. But unlike other skills, it is not learned by sitting in a classroom and being told how to do it. Analysts learn by doing.”

Analytical skills can be considered as one of the critical life skills that are not taught in schools. It comprises of visualization, critical thinking, and abilities for gathering and processing information.

Here’s a closer look at some of these abilities:

Visualization

Also tied to a person’s creativity, visualization is the ability to predict the possible outcomes of strategies and actions. In a professional setting, visualization involves the analysis of data – often through illustrations like charts, graphs, and detailed lists.

Critical Thinking

Simply put, a person’s ability to think critically can be measured by his or her consistency in creating reasonable decisions. It pertains to the ability to evaluate information, siphon what’s useful, and draw conclusions without being swayed by emotions.

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As a critical thinker, you’ll find yourself challenging assertions and finding loopholes in proposed solutions.

Computing

Whether you like it or not, you need to be comfortable with numbers if you want to sharpen your analytical skills. Bear in mind that computing encompasses other skills like cost analysis, budgeting, and performing general calculations.

In business, you need to use computations when weighing the risks and benefits of any given strategy.

Problem-Solving

Remember that analytical skills are used not just to understand problems, but also to develop the most suitable course or courses of action. This relates to your goal-setting skills, which involve breaking down and prioritizing between objectives.

Resource Management

Lastly, analytical skills involve some degree of resource management depending on the task at hand.

For example, professionals with a tight schedule must know how to effectively manage their own time – also known as one of the most important resources in the world.

Business leaders, on the other hand, must know how to manage company resources, including cash and manpower. Take note that the definition of analytical skills may change to match the requirements of a specific situation.

For example, upon hiring a web developer, analytical skills may refer to the ability to determine the needs of online users, understand web analytics for optimization, and identify visual elements that can match a company’s brand.

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The skillset above, however, should be applicable in most if not all scenarios.

Develop Your Analytical Skills for More Growth Opportunities

There’s no question that the right decisions lead to positive results. It doesn’t matter if you’re running a business or simply trying to climb the corporate ladder. By training your analytical skills, you position yourself for more growth opportunities while staying away from negligible actions you will regret.

For example, you plan to launch a new startup in your local community – but struggle to decide the niche you want to enter. Since you’ve been a technophile your whole life, part of you desires to invest in a gadget store. If you’re passionate about your business, success will come – right?

If you have sharp analytical skills, you begin to see your plans in whole new dimensions.

What are the possible outcomes of this venture? Does the local market have a need for a new gadget store? How much do I need to get started – and how much should I sell to make a profit?

Depending on your findings, you can determine the feasibility of your business idea without letting your emotions get in the way.

6 Ways to Strengthen Your Analytical Skills

There are several approaches when it comes to developing an individual’s analytical skills. For instance, psychologists agree that reading fantasy stories as a child can help sharpen critical thinking.[2]

Research also suggests that undergoing traditional education has a positive effect on a person’s IQ and analytical skills.[3]

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But as an adult, such opportunities to hone your analytical skills no longer apply. That’s why you need to devise a more deliberate, active approach yourself.

Below are a few strategies to get you started:

1. Ideate Business Ideas

Developing a profitable business idea, whether you pursue them or not, involves numerous challenges. You need a ton of research, computations, and problem-solving to create a tangible business plan.

You can organize your ideas with a note-taking tool like Microsoft OneNote or Evernote. Doing so will allow you to delve deeper into your analysis, organize your findings, and stay focused on roadblocks as well as how to solve them.

2. Leverage Analytical Tools

Aside from note-taking tools, you can also leverage other software that can help with analytical tasks. A money management app like Mint, for example, makes it easy to track your spending habits as well as manage your budget with visual tools. When it comes to prioritizing goals, you can use simple task management apps like Trello or Wunderlist.

3. Have a Personal Learning Library

Thanks to the internet, there’s a colossal amount of resources you can utilize to learn new skills, expand your vocabulary, and train your visualization muscles.

Social media networks like SlideShare and YouTube, for example, offer mountains of tutorials you can access to your heart’s content.

For a personalized learning library, you can download Instagram videos or GIFs from educational accounts like NASA Goddard and the American Mathematical Society. But if you prefer specific, technical skills, then a good place to start would be online learning platforms like Coursera, edX, and Alison.

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4. Participate in Online Communities

The internet is a great place to share experiences, opinions, and sometimes intellectual discussions with like-minded individuals. Reddit, for example, has a place or “subreddit” dedicated for every topic imaginable – from technology to entrepreneurship.

For structured debates, you can head to websites like Debate.org and let other users choose the winner via votes.

5. Seek Mental Stimulation

To keep your mind sharp, make it a habit to engage in mentally stimulating activities, such as chess, puzzles, and brain training apps. A great resource would be Lumosity, which contains dozens of cognitive games designed by teams of scientists and game designers.

6. Keep a Personal Journal

Finally, keeping a personal journal allows you to take a second look at everything that happened in your day.

Remember that writing about learning experiences lets you focus on the lesson rather than the emotion. It will help you analyze how you made your decisions, why you came to certain conclusions, and what you can do to improve in the future.

Here’s How to Create a Habit of Writing in a Journal.

Bottom Line

As an adult, you are required to face a myriad of challenges on a daily basis. Work, school, business, relationships – the list goes on when it comes to the sources of life’s problems. With analytical skills, you can confront and overcome any obstacle standing between you and your goals.

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Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] M. S. Ramaiah University of Applied Sciences: Analytical Thinking?
[2] KD Novelties: Why You Should Read Classic Tales to Your Children
[3] Economic Inquiry: The Effect of Education on Cognitive Ability

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