Getting back into the flow

Today is one of those days when I’m trying to get back into the flow of work after a week of holiday (yes, very nice thanks for asking).

Earlier in my career I worked on projects and getting back in to the flow was simpler – meet with the rest of the team working on the project, find out about progress, start my activities. These days my role requires me to oversee a number of different activities that are going at different paces, occurring in different locations and require a different level of involvement from me.

My normal routine in this situation is as follows:

  • Go through my inbox, filter items into ‘actioned’ or ‘to action’ folders taking note of any that may be urgent.
  • Do the same with my other data sources – corporate social network, feeds, etc. I’ll star items as I go through these lists for further reading or comment.
  • I remain in a form of radio-silence throughout this time so I can get through it uninterrupted
  • Eventually I’ll go online to the corporate instant messaging service and see what interruptions arrive
  • Check my voicemail
  • Review the items in my ‘to action’ folder and build a to-do list.
  • at some point I’ll have a call with other members of my team, but that’s normally precipitated by one of the items on my to-do list.

This time I’ve decided to perform this ritual in the office which has worked a treat because I’m the only one sat in my section. There is still some noise distraction so I am wearing the headphones:

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