Photo by Henrik Trygg, Image provided by https://www.stockholmbusinessregion.com/press/media-bank/
How would it feel to get into the flow and enjoy this summer, while also being your most productive? It is possible to do fabulous work while feeling great all summer long. That said, taking care of expats mid June through August requires some serious planning. Most likely, you will be needed during your vacation and have to stay at the office late some evenings. In addition, there will be Migration Agency delays and a variety of industry closures, which will cause delays and added stress. If you plan ahead you can be productive rather than reactive and achieve your goals, even in the most non-ideal and distracting circumstances.
Let’s explore how you can ensure that your needs, your co-workers needs, and expats expectations are met to the highest of standards.
We have 3 tips to get you off to the right start to have one of your best summers yet.
Tip # 1 Set clear boundaries.
This is crucial, especially when more people will be on vacation than usual. Try to split the workload evenly so no one is having a breakdown while others are getting 4 weeks off in a row. This has been known to happen and is not great for office morale.
When professional boundaries and priorities have been clearly defined, an organization can function effectively, even in the craziness of summer. If everyone on your team understands what to do, how to do it, and when to do it, then team members will feel safer in their roles.
It might help to think about last summer. What were your biggest challenges and what caused you the most stress? Review your previous summer’s mishaps and think about how to troubleshoot to make projects work smoother, thus saving everyone time and money. As you take some time to contemplate last summer, jot down your thoughts and ideas of what could be done differently now that you can see the issues from a broader perspective. Once you have these ideas, set up a meeting with key people and ask them to get on board with your plans to make any needed procedural changes.
Clear boundaries should extend to your personal life as well. Make sure your significant other and your children (if you have them) are holding up their end of household responsibilities. Let them know specifically how they can help you to feel less burdened by the added responsibilities of the summer.
Tip # 2 Make sure everyone has realistic expectations.
No matter how you look at it, and as fun and carefree as it is, summer can be stressful and very busy. Remind your co-workers of this in advance so they are prepared. If you are in the HR and Global Relocation Industry, business and stress may need to be your best friends. You might need to just accept the fact that life will be crazy, fun and stressful during the summer. That said, the way in which you perceive that stress is up to you. By changing your perception of a stressful situation into a learning and growing experience, or even a marathon-like new challenge, you'll avert long-term health effects and lots of unhappiness. Try to get your whole office on board with realistic expectations regarding the summer. Remind them to plan ahead and take time to manage their stress, both personal and work related because, as we know, often the two can not be separated.
Tip # 3 Detox what’s not needed and be ruthless with your schedule.
Take a look at your meetings schedule and cancel any unnecessary meetings. Review your phone and email and decided how they can be streamlined. Also, look at your social life and decide what feels obligatory versus what you really wish to do. See if you can streamline this as well.
Here are just a few things you can do to detox your phone
- Turn off the ringer when you do deep work that needs focus. You can always call back afterward.
- Remove all social media - unless you are a content manager your business and life is not on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Remove emails from your phone.
- Create folders where you keep your apps - Banking/Shopping/Travel/Communication/ are sample folders where you can put in Bank ID, Amazon app, Your Airline apps/WhatsApp and Skype, etc. Cleaning up your phone will save you time when you do want to do something and you don’t have to swipe left five times to find something.
Now detox and organize your email. This will definitely promote a peace of mind.
- Send fewer emails. Have you ever noticed when you go on vacation that your email box almost dies in the second week? It’s because you are not sending anything.
- Check your inbox only 2-3 times per day and chunk the time you spend on answering emails. Email is not your work, it’s a mailbox, not your to-do list.
- Whatever you can respond to in less than 5 minutes, answer directly and get it resolved. When an email turns into email-table tennis with messages going back and forth it’s time for a phone call.
- Unsubscribe to most Newsletters. If you are researching a topic you will never search for it in your inbox. If you feel that there are newsletters worth subscribing to and saving, create a rule in outlook or a filter in Gmail that sends the emails straight to a designated folder and you can when you have time to look at them.
Detox Your Social Life
Are you over committing this summer? Do you have too many visitors, parties and volunteer obligations? If you say yes to any of these questions, it would be a good idea to look at your schedule and see what you can cut out. One this exercise is completed, you will definitely be able to get into the flow more easily. You will feel less guilt, frustration and overwhelm when you have only scheduled people and activities that feel good for you this summer.
Additional resources for making the most of your summer:
If you would like to learn more about these topics you might be interested in this Immigration Guide on our website with several articles on the subject.