welcome back from vacation! please, pause for a moment before jumping back into work

Coming back from vacation is a good opportunity for project managers (and many other professionals) to question their practices.

The vast majority of the time, you are completely buried in your projects, you hardly have time to reflect between meetings, project reviews, planning sessions, resources prioritizations, urgent reports to finalize and send, not to mention non-project-related tasks that cannibalize your productive work time.

It's easy to forget that your value resides in your capacity to innovate, to distance yourself from emergencies, to develop your projects’ team members. Of course, the day-to-day tasks must be completed, but more often than not, they do NOT determine your professional success.

It seems to me that returning from vacation is a good time to look around yourself, beyond day-to-day duties. If you followed the advice I shared in my last article, your vacation went well and allowed you to reenergize.

So, these summer holidays placed some welcomed distance between you and your day-to day challenges. You set aside (a little bit) your smart phone, e-mails, laptop, tablet and other addictive electronic "gadgets.”

Now, before jumping in the rush of business, I suggest you set ten minutes aside in a quiet place and answer these few questions:

  • how would you go after your work if you just came in from outside the company and engaged in these tasks for the first time? 
  • what would you write in a first week "astonishment report" if these were your first hours in this "new" job?
  • what changes would you bring?
  • what would you absolutely want to keep?
  • what do your customers really expect from you? Your management?
  • what would appear to be logical or not from an external viewpoint?

 Now, you are ready to jump back on the train!

Michel Operto

I've been leading IT projects for more than 20 years at telecom and computer manufacturers: Thomson Sintra, Digital Equipment, NCR, Nortel Networks, Orange Business. My passion is Project Management and leadership and I run a blog on the PM best practices at http://dantotsupm.com/