Rebecca Terrell
Rebecca Terrell
September 7, 2016
How Project Managers Ease Back Into the Workweek

Mondays may be hard, but the day after a long weekend can be even harder! No matter how much your team loves their job, jumping back into emails and non-stop meetings can be challenging for everyone - especially after lounging poolside and watching football all weekend.

So what can you do to get your team hustlin’ after the holiday weekend? Our project managers Alex Kistler and Laura Wright are sharing a few of their weekly rituals that help them (and the #TeleTeam) quickly get organized and back on track. Steal a few and you’ll be off to a strong start!

PREPARE.

The key to a seamless return is preparing ahead. Digging right into a busy inbox or tackling a client meeting first thing can put a damper on your post-vacation high! Alex suggests taking some time before you arrive to work to sort through client emails and figure out what needs to be done when you return.

“I always spend a few minutes the night before (or during the beginning of the week) refreshing myself on where projects were left off the week before. I gather whatever client feedback has come back over the weekend and add those edits to team member’s list of to-dos.” - Alex Kistler

 

PRIORITIZE.

While you may be tempted to make up for lost time by loading up on work, it’s best to ease back into the workflow and accept that you can’t get everything done at once. Laura takes time drafting out the items that absolutely must get done her first day back and then prioritizes them.

“Make a checklist and write it down. Cross through the items as you complete them. In a very digital world, it can really help to put pen to paper on what you need to get done. Plus, it's super liberating to cross something off your to-do list once it's completed! This also helps me not forget something that could easily slip through the cracks after a long weekend.” -Laura Wright

 

SET THE TONE.

Post-vacation crankiness around the office is bound to happen, but arriving with a positive attitude can set the tone for the entire week. Whether it’s arriving to the office with a grande americano with light cream in hand (@laurajosephinewright) or bringing in some goodies to share with your staff, Alex and Laura always try to create a positive environment that helps our team ease back into the workflow.

“Positivity - It’s huge. Get your team excited to be in the office (from a weekend or long break). You want them to tell you about the weekend and then also touch base with them to make sure they have a firm understanding of their tasks.” - Alex Kistler

 

ZONE OUT.

A noisy workplace can really put a halt on your productivity and make it hard to concentrate - especially in an open-office setting like Telegraph’s. Trying to knock out a never-ending checklist of tasks with your co-workers stopping by your desk every few minutes can be a huge distraction! Laura typically will zone everything (and everyone) out with some music to help her stay focused on her deadlines.

 

“Typically after a long weekend, you'll be swamped with emails and workload updates. Playing catchup can be exhausting. Putting on some sound-proof headphones tells others "I'm working" so you're less likely to get distracted by a co-worker, and good tunes can get you fully focused on what you're doing so you can knock it out more efficiently.” - Laura Wright

 

TAKE A BREAK.

When you’ve got a laundry list of to-dos for the day, it can be hard to get yourself motivated to complete them. You stare at the computer screen, totally uninspired by projects and tasks that may not be the most “fun.” While your checklist may seem daunting, set small goals to be accomplished and reward yourself when you finish them. It never hurts to give yourself some motivation.

“When I have a lot to do, it can seem blah. To encourage myself,  I will reward my work with a fresh cup of coffee or a quick 5 minute skim through the news/my Daily Skimm. If I give myself  something to look forward to and a mind break between tasks,  I typically work faster and more efficiently.” - Laura Wright

 

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What gets your motivated after a long weekend? Let us know on Twitter.