The Weekend MBA program at Purdue is for ambitious professionals whose career and family are equally as important as furthering their education. During the holidays, family tends to play a predominate role, making it exceptionally more difficult to transition your focus back to work and school. We have prepared a list of tips to help you plan accordingly and strategically ease yourself back in after the holidays, and as an added bonus, these tips can also help in improving managerial skills.
Before You Leave for the Holidays
Consider Your Calendar
When scheduling meetings for the week following a holiday, make sure they're spread out to help ease back into the work shuffle. Share this tip with the rest of your team to ensure your entire staff comes back from the holidays ready to succeed. Purdue’s Weekend MBA schedule of alternating Saturday classes gives you the ability to schedule around your courses, ensuring a seamless transition back.
Start on items that will be due shortly after returning from the holidays or better yet: finish them before. Meet with your team members to ensure their projects are on track and offer assistance when needed. To get ahead on your coursework, take advantage of the 25 breakout rooms and computer labs at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus that will give you the opportunity to focus without the distractions of work or home life.
Returning from the Holidays
Start an Exercise Program
Working off the sluggish after effects of the holiday season will greatly increase your energy. Motivate yourself by purchasing new workout gear, try a new class, or grab a partner from your MBA cohort program, take advantage of the beautiful scenery on campus and take a stroll on your lunch break.
Determine the items most important — often they're also the most dreaded — and do them first. Plan out your day, aim to finish something before moving onto the next item, and be smart with your time. Flex those managerial muscles by helping your team prioritize their tasks and stay on track. As a Weekend MBA student, you can do your prep work online giving you that extra flexibility to work around your other deadlines.
Bring Some Headphones
If you are often tempted to enter into coworker or fellow student conversations or if your brain is feeling extra sluggish, headphones can help. Having them on will signal to coworkers that you're putting in work and therefore sitting out from conversations. Additionally, playing the right kind of music can be motivating and clearing.
Take a Technology Break
Throughout the day, you are often glued to stimulating technology. Typing away at brightly lit screens, checking emails on a glowing smartphone, scrolling through Facebook and Instagram feeds during lunch, and on the weekends you’re working towards your MBA. Turning off technology when you get home each night gives the brain and eyes a moment to relax from our fast-paced world.
Make Your Desk or Backpack a "Happy Place"
If your desk is austere, of course it's going to be a bit depressing sitting there day after day. Add a plant or a photo of a loved one or recent vacation. Students should consider purchasing a backpack or notebook in your favorite color. Loving the items you're surrounded by can bring an extra dose of happiness and encouragement.
Whether you are a full-time worker, Weekend MBA student, or full-time student, we hope these ideas help with returning to a "ready-to-work" frame of mind. Implementing these strategies can be impactful in improving managerial skills as you share them with your team and lead by example to keep everyone in the office on track. If you're looking for a way to impact your career and gain leadership skills, consider a Purdue Krannert MBA!