Harnessing ‘Napkin Ideas’ and Reenergizing Post-Vacation

Napkin Ideas and Post-Vacation Strategies in Business Business Skills

Every professional needs time off to rest and recharge. But coming back to an avalanche of emails, messages and projects can be overwhelming.

Here are a few simple ways to keep that vacation energy going long after the plane touches down. They include breathing exercises, exercise and implementing small life changes.

Unlocking Creativity: The Power of ‘Back of the Napkin’ Planning

During the three phases of getting back to business, every organization needs to chart its own path. Airline companies will normalize at a different rate than hotels or retailers. It is critical to keep your eye on the people who will be impacted by the new normal and how you can improve your products and services in response to this shift.

When in doubt, get out of the office, down some wings and start jotting ideas on a napkin. The small size of the napkin forces you to be brief and capture only the real essence of an idea.

Section Five Talks Back: Integrating Informal Ideas into Formal Strategies

Many of the world’s greatest ideas started as doodles on a napkin, and although it may seem impractical to write anything on a napkin (how do you even tell which side is the back?), some of the most important concepts in science, business and politics began as just such a sketch.

Getting back to work after vacation can be overwhelming, especially the first day or couple of weeks. Getting back to 1,000 emails in your inbox, meetings that were scheduled before you left and the project that is due ASAP can cause stress and feelings of depression commonly referred to as post-vacation blues.

The Art of Simplification: Turning Napkin Sketches into Actionable Plans

In a pinch, napkins can be surprisingly useful tools for planning and communicating ideas. Entrepreneur Herb Kelleher nailed his vision for Southwest Airlines on the back of a cocktail napkin while sitting in a San Antonio bar with a business partner in 1967. Aaron Sorkin says he wrote A Few Good Men, his first play, on a napkin, too. And the creators of Pixar’s “Big Four” – John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Joe Ranft and Pete Docter – jotted down their initial ideas for A Bug’s Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo and WALL-E on napkins as they wrapped up production on Toy Story.

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Whether you’re a professional with a full-time job or a stay-at-home parent, getting back into the swing of things after a vacation isn’t always easy. The avalanche of emails and tasks that have piled up while you were away can make it hard to figure out where to start.

The trick is to avoid jumping right in and trying to tackle all of it at once. That can lead to stress, burnout and a general feeling of being overwhelmed. Instead, take a few days to assess what needs your attention and then prioritize those items.

Once you’ve got a handle on what needs to get done, consider drawing your own napkin sketch to communicate it. Then, show it to a colleague and ask for feedback. This reflection will help you understand how well your sketch is communicating your idea and it may reveal that you need to rework it to improve its clarity. Alternatively, try creating a concept map by listing the important elements in your sketch, drawing connections between them and labeling those relationships. This process can also uncover missed or redundant connections, further enhancing the value of your napkin sketch.

Recharging Your Work Ethic: Strategies for Post-Vacation Productivity

Every professional needs to take a break from work at some point. It can be a time to recharge, or a chance to re-evaluate goals and strategy. However, returning to work after a vacation can often be difficult. It is important to be mindful of how a vacation can impact productivity, and what you can do to prevent it from negatively affecting your return.

For many professionals, a return to work can be a stressful experience. Whether it is the stress of trying to catch up on a huge backlog of emails, or the anxiety of facing a mountain of pending projects, the first day back can feel overwhelming. However, it does not have to be. The members of Young Entrepreneur Council have shared some tips for easing back into the work routine, so that your first day back is not as hectic as it could be.

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One of the most effective strategies for getting back into the groove after a vacation is to prioritize tasks and set realistic goals. It is also helpful to make sure that you have all of the information needed for each task, and that any larger projects are broken down into manageable parts. Additionally, it is important to be conscious of the effect that your mood can have on your performance. For example, it may be helpful to listen to some upbeat music or find motivational podcasts or YouTube videos to help keep your focus on the tasks at hand.

Finally, it is important to remember why you do what you do. For many people, their career is a source of pride and fulfillment. It is important to remind yourself of this when you are struggling to get through a rough patch in the office.

Blending Creativity and Structure: From Napkin to Boardroom

The process of moving from vacation mode to back to business must be a balance of creativity and structure. Creativity allows for the development of new insight, but without the structure to advance it, that insight will never be realized. A clear understanding of the goals of the day, how they will be achieved and in what time frame is critical for success. Finally, it is critical to keep employees engaged during the back to business phase as they provide valuable insights and energy that can accelerate an organization’s progression through the three phases. Whether it is a restaurant, hotel or creative arts business, every organization will move through these three stages at a different pace.

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