Maybe I should work non-stop
March 26, 2007 2:23 PM   Subscribe

I'm having trouble getting back into work-mode after any time off. Even a single day. Any suggestions?

I work about 60-70hrs a week. It very rare for me to take 2 full days off in a row. Whether I have taken 1 or 2 days off, my first day back to work is sloooowww. I can't seem to get motivated and jump right back into being productive and focused. Once I get a flow going (and feel more time pressure or deadlines near)- no problem. But, then, as soon as I take a day off, its back to square one.

By the way, I work at home about 80% of the time, the rest is at an office when I need to work with some people I work with (where I'm much more motivated).

Please help me break this cycle. (a system of rewards/goals, deadlines...?)
posted by hazel to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
FWIW, I use food as a really basic and effective motivator. When I go back to work, I make a list of the things I need to address first, and then it's no second cup of coffee/snack/lunch until I get going on something. It helps if I have a very particular, scrummy but rarely eaten lunch in mind.

You could try this with whatever works for you: books, CDs, dinner reservations, night at the movies?
posted by DarlingBri at 2:37 PM on March 26, 2007 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Before you leave for your day(s) off, leave a note in the middle of your workspace telling you the first task you need to accomplish when you get back. It should be something small, something you can do in 15-30 minutes (so it might be a sub-task of something bigger). If you need any particular resources to accomplish it, gather them - open the relevant emails/project proposals/whatever on your workstation, print the necessary documents and have them on your desk, etc. Set yourself up to hit the ground running on this one task, the minute you get back to work. This will make it super easy to get started when you return, and hopefully the momentum will keep you going.
posted by vytae at 2:38 PM on March 26, 2007

In my experience, finding something you can do that will only take a few minutes is the best way to ease back into work.
posted by grouse at 3:18 PM on March 26, 2007

I concur totally and absolutely with vytae. That kind of intense planning, which I do every Friday afternoon, really helps me to jump in on Monday morning without doubt, procrastination, that slow tick tick of time, etc. The momentum does keep me running all day, and oddly makes Monday my best (as in most productive) day of the week. It's all downhill from there.
posted by bunnycup at 3:24 PM on March 26, 2007

You're not alone. This is why people hate Mondays.
posted by smackfu at 3:38 PM on March 26, 2007

I tend to use Monday morning to do the fun parts of my job. I'll play with my low-priority projects, go back and improve previous code I've written, and read theory or documentation for a while. After lunch, it's back to work on the high-priority tasks, and away we go. Of course, this doesn't apply when my highest priority tasks require those three hours in order for me to complete them on time.

If you have the kind of job where everything needs to be handled immediately, this probably won't work for you.
posted by Netzapper at 4:26 PM on March 26, 2007

Like you said, once you get the flow going... I find that once I just start working I'm like, well that wasnt so bad...
posted by who else at 10:24 PM on March 26, 2007

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