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Three Steps to Avoid Holiday Hangover at Your Consulting Firm

Maybe you’re taking a break from your consulting practice entirely this week. Or, perhaps just enjoying a lazy schedule with fewer client demands, lighter hours and higher stacks of festive chocolates.

Either way, settling back into work can feel like waking up from a mid-afternoon nap— groggy, uninspired, and unproductive.A holiday hangover quickly deflates your high hopes of launching your consulting firm into the new year with vim and vigor. Prepare a little, though, and you’ll swap those blahs for huzzahs.

Right now, before you jump into full-speed consulting leadership use the three steps below to make a plan for your consulting firm’s post-holiday reentry.

Lighten the Load

List all the tasks that absolutely, without question, must get done the first three days you’re back from vacation.

Your first shot at compiling this list will include tasks that aren’t actually must-dos. Set those aside. They’re extra weight that you can pick up once you’re zooming down the consulting fast lane again.

Spot the Energizers

From your must-do list, select three tasks that you’re looking forward to. Work you deeply enjoy and can get lost in. This is the type of work that gets your intellectual motor humming.

Limit the Administrivia

Today, block out time on the first three days back for one of your Energizer tasks on each day. Start the block forty-five minutes after you start your day. That first three-quarters of an hour is for you to check voicemails, respond to emails and handle other, non-productive, administrative flotsam. No more. And don’t let your start time for Energizers slip. They’re your ticket back.

By day three you’ll be fully up to speed again and feeling good about how much you accomplished to start off your year.

What else have you done to catapult your consulting practice into high productivity when you return from a break?

  1. Ellen Julian
    December 26, 2018 at 11:57 am Reply

    Dive into work to bury the sadness of kids leaving after holiday visits. It makes staying absorbed in the task the more attractive alternative.

    • David A. Fields
      December 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm Reply

      Awwww, it is tough to see the kids go, isn’t it? What that’s really saying, though, is you have a strong relationship with your children and find joy with them when they’re around. Hooray for that!

      Thanks for kicking off the discussion, Ellen.

  2. Lisa Feldman
    January 3, 2019 at 12:55 pm Reply

    For me — meet with a client! I had set up a meeting for 10 AM the morning I returned. Everyone has a holiday hangover, so we could commiserate, starting with making sure we understood (remembered) what we wanted the outcome of the meeting to be. It’s immediate productivity for both of us. And a client meeting is an energizer — it reminds me why I’m doing this: to help people move forward, including by bringing energy during a hangover.

    • David A. Fields
      January 4, 2019 at 5:32 am Reply

      Good for you for setting yourself up for success, Lisa! To extend that idea, consider setting up a client meeting for every Monday or for every first day after a long weekend.

      As you’ve pointed out, ensuring you jump back into action with high productivity is a quick cure for the holiday (or weekend) hangover. Great addition to the conversation, Lisa.

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