In my case, quiet is essential. I love being alone when I am trying to complete a focused task, and find my best times of day are first thing in the morning, directly after lunch, and around 7 p.m.
What conditions allow you to execute focused tasks to the best of your ability? How can you integrate some of those conditions into your work life upon returning?
Now, think back over the time that you have been on parental leave, when was the last time you had focused time? I am going to hazard a guess... not often.
Returning to the workforce requires us to return to longer stints of focused time. It is very challenging to jump right back in from little focused time to hours of focused time in a day. How are you going to prepare yourself for this change?
- Workout your brain! Start small and increase. Integrate a short window of focused time into your week and increase the duration of that window for the weeks leading up to your return to work. When you return, take it slow, give yourself the time you need to adjust.
- Conditions Matter! Upon your return, try to do focused tasks in your ideal conditions (time of day, noise level, location etc.).
- Show Self-Love! Most importantly, remember this is a transition - show yourself lots of self-love!