How to prepare for a stress-free return to school

Hundreds of messages to read, files that have become very urgent to settle … Advice for facing the first days.

Back-to-school anxiety sometimes spoils the end of the holidays. This year when, between Covid and teleworking, everything has been even more complicated, dreading this moment is even more legitimate. But coming back to the office stressed is also having a good chance of stressing your team in return. So to spoil the important reunion after hectic months.

To overcome the obstacle, everyone has their recipes. “I ask to my staff to give me a summary of what happened during my absence to save time», Testifies a manager in IT. Some salespeople have taken the step of stalling appointments with nice customers at the start of the school year in order to restart smoothly.

Every year, I take a little time before D-Day to think about what is essential for me in my work, to choose my priorities for the year, says Oriane Savouré-Lucas, coach. For example, this time, one of my goals is to develop a new target audience.

Take to the skies and sort out the priorities

What calms her? Take a step back in everyday life, not go back to your habits without questioning their relevance, their purpose. ” I also think about the rules of life, health, organization that I choose to create and respect to be well and stay focused on my priorities», Continues this specialist in professional and personal development.

Remembering the important projects of the months to come, the key subjects for your hierarchy and therefore also a priority for you, can help you gain in efficiency, from the big day. But there are other tips.

You will feel like you are already late when you have just returned. Resign yourself: no one is able to do everything at once! “Your goal on day one should be to prioritize. There are a lot of urgent things. But you will choose to focus on just the two or three super urgent and very important topics.»Advises Karen Tuyserne, coach and founder of The rest will have been identified but will wait a little longer.

Avoid the extended “to do list”

List all that you have to do relieves you because you are no longer afraid to forget. But this inexhaustible list ends up being discouraging: you never come to the end of it, and each day the list grows. “Instead, set each morning the three priorities for the day, continues Karen Tuyserne. In your schedule, include an action to achieve your long-term goals, an action for short-term steps (for example preparing for the next day’s meeting) and a time slot for emergencies, unforeseen events.

For small things, neither urgent nor important, which have accumulated during the holidays (administrative problems, pending questions on files, etc.)? “Take a small notebook and write down all these grains of sand along the water. In your schedule, such or such a day, set yourself a time to resolve them calmly», Advises Oriane Savouré-Lucas.

The beneficial strategy of small steps

Do you have very ambitious annual objectives and you are worried? Which are the ones that you could fix for yourself at the start of the school year? And which would be reachable without too much difficulty in the very short term? “You can write in your diary that by the end of September, you must have done this or this, that by the end of October, you must have completed such and such a file, etc.Suggests Franck Pagny, founder of the consultancy firm Vivement Monday. Easier to take, these steps reassure you.

As a bonus, they will make it easier for you to win small victories, to see that you are moving forward … and to show it to your hierarchy as well. It’s important for morale and motivation. “And these concrete successes help you gradually gain credibility in the office ”, welcomes Karen Tuyserne.

Time for good resolutions?

“Back to school is also the time to make an appointment with yourself to solve the problems»Assures Franck Pagny. Are you overwhelmed with work? Maybe you should learn to delegate more, or be less of a perfectionist. Tensions with a team member make you want to run away? Perhaps this is the opportunity to reframe him or to take the time, taking advantage of the reunion, to discuss the problem with him?

Are you taking on too much work? Why not consider training, to learn how to say “no” or to set your conditions. For example, to accept this new file, I have to unload another one … Knowing that you are going to solve the problem is sometimes enough to reduce the stress of returning.

Continue to recharge your batteries

Indulging yourself is the best way not to sink. “Remember this little ritual, this moment of pleasure that you enjoyed so much this summer and do you manage to keep it at the start of the school year, to help you recharge your batteries?»Advises Karen Tuyserne.

Even overwhelmed, from the first days of the start of the school year, set aside time to indulge yourself and recharge your batteries. “These are moments that allow you to recharge your energy and not come out of the day’s work exhausted: lunch with a salad outside in a garden, walk at lunchtime, or simply stop for a few minutes to breathe ” , adds Oriane Savouré-Lucas.

Set rules at the office and at home

Good resolutions aren’t just good for the office. “Back to school can be a good time to discuss organizational issues with the family ” continues Franck Pagny.

Distribute tasks at home differently, fix the framework for teleworking (I don’t get disturbed when the door is closed, etc.). Being able to work better also means gaining peace of mind.

The work environment has been very hectic in recent months. This return to school will undoubtedly also be an opportunity to perfect the new organization with colleagues, your supervisor and members of the team. Imagine that the instruction was to reduce Zoom meetings, that would undoubtedly help you to consider the return to school more serenely, right?


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