The Hill Life: Hasta La Vista, Recess

The last week of August Recess is a bit like the day before school.  You’re excited for the possibilities, but that doesn’t mean that you’re ready to go back.  Here are some tips for easing back into session without losing your grip on your sanity.

Scrub-a-Dub. Before the bells ring at 6:30 on Wednesday, do a bit of cleaning.  Throw out any unnecessary paper that you’ve accumulated.  Clean out and reorganize your e-mail inbox.  Make sure your electronic files are in order and de-clutter your computer’s desktop.  And then–last, but by no means least–clean the surface of your actual desk.

Your computer keyboard harbors 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat.  Shiver. So grab an antibacterial wipe or some spray and start cleaning.

Make a List.  Actually, make two lists.  Make a list of short-term goals, tasks that need to be completed in the next two weeks to one month.  Then, make a list of long-term goals, things that you want or need to accomplish by the end of the year.

These lists will help keep you on track and focused.  Th shot term list ensures that all of your priorities get done in a timely manner.  And having a long term list will keep your ideas at the forefront even when the day-to-day is overwhelming.  

Create Break Time.  An acquaintance is now a professional life coach, teaching Fortune 500 CEOs how to organize their careers and lives and benefit both.  I asked him what a person should do if by the end of the work day, they feel like they’re attached to a speeding train.  His response: Go into Outlook, choose a time in the mid-afternoon and set up a recurring appointment called “break time.”

He suggests that you make the appointment twenty minutes long.  The first ten minutes should be spent getting some water or eating a snack or doing something non-work related.  The second ten minutes should be spent evaluating what you’ve done that day and prioritizing what you still have to do on a Post-It note.  

This time will allow you to breathe, clear the fog from your mind, and keep working.

Get a Flu Shot. I hate needles, so I get the spray.  But if you wait until flu season hits, it may be too late.  So take it from the girl who got the Swine Flu, get the shot.

Have a Blast.  Take the weekend and spend it doing whatever you want.  Get a mani-pedi.  Lay by the pool.  Throw a BBQ.  Hit the bars.  Take a trip.  Deep clean the apartment.  It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s exactly what you want to do.  

Nothing is worse than the feeling that recess is over, except for the feeling that you didn’t get to do anything fun during recess.  So even if it’s just a few hours, set aside a little time for you.


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  1. ashley says:

    Thanks Belle! I took your advice and scrubbed down my desk today. What a difference that makes!

    August 31, 2011/Reply