Autumn incoming: bouncing back into the busy working life after the hot summer

For many people, the summer is the highlight of their year. It is in the summer that the country comes alive - people are out and about and in the mood for celebration, and whilst this might end up with busier shifts for workers in the hospitality industry, workers, too, can’t wait to get out and enjoy the summer festivities. And who could forget our holidays? Whether abroad or on our own shores, most of us have waited all year for a week or two putting our feet up. But every summer has to end, and as autumn lurks around the corner, we can all struggle to get back into the working mindset. Your holidays have left you feeling relaxed and refreshed, but you just can’t muster the motivation to get back into the working world. Sounds about right? Well, don’t worry, everyone feels the same, but self-employed professionals might feel the pressure a little bit more; you could give yourself another week off, but wouldn’t it be better to get back into work? To combat the post-holiday blues, here are a few motivational tips to help get you back into the working spirit and give you a burst of productivity.  

Clean, clean, clean

Our surroundings have a massive impact on our productivity - and this works on two levels. Firstly, no one is productive in a cluttered workspace. Meal prep can only become streamlined when the kitchen is well organised and categorised - don’t waste precious time rummaging around looking for tools or sifting through bottles behind the bar searching for misplaced cocktail ingredients. With a hectic summer, things might’ve become misplaced and a little more disorganised than usual. If you want to reset your work clock, why not take the time to reset the workplace? Get things cleaned and organised - take the time to freshen up your surroundings and you might just feel that energy coming back into yourself, too. Get your surroundings in order, and that might give you the spark to get yourself back in order, too.

The workplace isn’t the only place that might need a little spring clean - boost your motivation by giving your home a tidy, too. Research tells us that our environment plays a great part in shaping our mental states - to put it simply, the things we see, hear and smell affect how we feel. Messy living arrangements can cause us to feel unmotivated and anxious, among many other negative side effects. If you are feeling unmotivated when it comes to getting back into work, take a look around your home and try to give it a fresh breath of life. Tidy, clean, and put away all the things that might’ve fallen out of the loft over the summer break. By making your home feel clean, organised and new, you might just feel a positive impact on your mental state too, giving you a boost to get back into work and beat away the post-summer blues.

Do something new

Sometimes the best way to give ourselves a bit of a motivational boost is by learning something new. One of the greatest strengths about the hospitality industry lies within its diversity - no two businesses are the same, and that means there are always new skills to pick up and new crafts to learn. Brigad’s self-employed professionals have the freedom to use this to their advantage - pick up missions in all types of businesses and challenge yourself to learn something new. For chefs tired of making the same food, why not pick up some missions in a different cuisine? The same goes for bartenders - why not curate a new cocktail menu? It is only by trying something new that we can discover new passions. Who knows, maybe the challenge you set yourself could open new doors to great new opportunities that you would have never known about if you hadn’t made yourself seek out new skills. Use the Brigad platform to inspire yourself - learn new skills, develop new passions, and generate a whole new level of motivation.

For more information on how you can use Brigad to meet your mentors and pick up skills quickly, read this article here.  

Set goals and craft a to-do list

A lack of motivation can often come from feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes there are so many things we need to do that we tend not to do anything at all - this is called procrastination. To break this cycle, a handy thing to do is to set yourself goals and craft a to-do list. When it comes to goals, be reasonable and don’t set your expectations too high - having achievable goals means you can boost your productivity easily. When it comes to crafting to-do lists, there's nothing wrong with listing your daily habits just to start ticking off tasks and boost your productivity. It was Matthew McConaughe that revealed his secret to success was in list-making, and described lists as a secret to staying grounded and keeping him motivated - the actor would even list things like getting out of bed, showering and eating on his lists - that way, ‘getting to the hard things was made a little bit easier.’ Kick off your productivity by accomplishing small tasks and rest will follow - don’t worry about getting back into the swing of work straight away. Ease yourself in, build and soon you’ll be back to your usual, motivated, self.  

Seek out the positives

It’s normal not to be excited about work, especially after a summer break. Heading back to work and towards the cold of autumn and winter is enough to put anyone in a bit of a dim mood. However, sometimes the best way to generate more optimism is by keeping out the negative thoughts and trying our best to keep a positive mindset. Studies show us the power of positive thinking - it isn’t just hearsay. Positive thinking is good for the immune system, reduces anxiety, and increases positive emotions. But what is positive thinking? It doesn’t mean lying to ourselves about negative things or seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses, but instead means we look for the positives in everything, and this includes searching out solutions to negative situations - i.e., trying out a new workplace if your missions don’t suit you. ‘Positive thinkers make the best out of every situation, focusing on what they can control, letting go of what they cannot, and searching for ways to improve the situation and lessons to learn.’ Positive mindsets are great ways to reduce stress, and we can all benefit from less stress! Trying to change our mindsets is an easy way to boost our mood, health and motivation when it comes to our careers. Try to see the good in the world, and you’ll find benefits in yourself, too.

One day at a time

No one likes being thrown in at the deep end - be gentle with your approach to going back to work. ‘One day at a time’ is an old saying that still rings true - don’t worry about the future and focus all your energy on the present. It can be daunting thinking about a week’s work ahead, let alone months, if not years ahead. Focus on the future too long and you’ll start to feel a whole lot of unnecessary pressure. If you’re feeling lost or demotivated with work and find it difficult to go in, then the perspective of ‘one day at a time’ can help you. Work the day you need to work, and don’t let yourself worry about the next day. Just like positive thinking, this is a type of mindset you can alter to help yourself, relieve stress and keep off unnecessary pressure.

Take it slow on the first week back

Self-employed professionals have the luxury of working when they want - use this to your advantage and don’t book yourself in for a hectic first week. Why not have your first shift be on a weekday - get into the swing of things by working a quiet shift to prepare for busier days. Avoid a running start - so no doubles in the first week! Be smart with accepting missions, and don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure. Use Brigad’s in-app calendar to mark your availabilities to suit  you.

Take some time for self-reflection

In hospitality, autumn is a time of regathering and preparation for the next season’s busiest weeks. This means it's a great time for self-reflection, something which can help you going forward. Ask yourself how the last year’s work has been - what did you excel at? What do you need to work on? What do you want from your work? These are the types of questions that, once we confront ourselves, can help clear our heads and give us a sense of clarity. It is only once you answer these questions when you can really start to understand what you need from your work life - whether this is in a better work-home balance, switching to a different routine, or turning towards a different establishment entirely. Tired of cooking the same style of food? Switch it up and turn towards another cuisine that might give you the boost you’re needed to get back into the groove.

Lean on the community

Another great strength to the hospitality industry is the close connection workers build within their teams. It takes a great team to survive a crazy dinner service, and it is in these hectic times that life long friendships are built. If you’re worried about getting back into the working life, then remember that all of your colleagues are most likely going to be in the same boat. Use the friendships you’ve made, reach out to your workmates and share tips on how to get back into the swing of things. Who knows, even speaking to your colleagues might give you the spark to want to get back into the workplace with them.

You’ve got this  

When it comes to getting back into the groove and finding the work routine again - you know yourself better than anyone, and you know what you need. But don’t be too hard on yourself - the summer has been long and hot - the hottest the U.K. has ever been! Don’t put too much pressure on yourself to get things right the first time. Get to work at a pace that suits you, then build up to a level that you’re comfortable with. As long as you take your time and make smart decisions - have a positive outlook and a healthy, organised home life - the work-routine will come back to you naturally.

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