Working when it seems everyone else is away

It’s August, which means it’s school holidays, which means the vast majority of parents are spending time with their kids on holiday.

For those that don’t have kids, or don’t have kids of school age, the schools holidays represent a welcome rest from the business of work. Things slow down, the commute is less busy and stressful, out of office replies lower expectations and there is a shared belief in the office that nothing is going to get done anytime soon.

The last couple of weeks have been well, lovely. Despite having to work when it feels like everyone else is away, I can’t help thinking that I wish working life could always be like this. The stalling of projects and reduced email traffic has meant I’ve had more time to contemplate and get stuck into things that have been on my to do list for months. I’ve thought about the rest of the year, set priorities and noticed where improvements need to be made.

As a result, not only have I gained the sense of satisfaction from completing several big pieces of work that I’ve been procrastinating on, but I also feel much less stressed. Calm is the order of the day.

It’s a shame my new found tranquility and efficiency is unlikely to last. However, there are lessons to be learned; slowing down can mean you get more things done, and not simply more emails sent, but more pieces of work ticked off your list. I am determined to keep up this mentality and focus. As one of my colleagues mentioned the other day “I hate emails; every time I send one, I seem to get one back”. What’s satisfying about that….