Habit hangover


As I went to bed on the last day of my vacation, I tried to get back into the habit of preparing for my first day back to work from a long, needed vacation. I casually glanced at my email to see if anything needed my attention right away in the morning…nothing seemed important. I also looked at my calendar to see if there was an early morning meeting that needed my attendance. Again, nothing seemed important.

I was able for the first time in a while to go to bed without stressing out about the next day at work. It is important to take time off from work and reflect, recharge, and get refocused. Throughout my vacation I was able to sleep in a little, get a little work done around the house and, most importantly, spend a lot of much needed quality time with the family. I had completely broken my weekly work habits during my week off. I was even able to (eventually) stay away from reading emails on my smart phone.

Fast forward to the Monday after Thanksgiving at 5 a.m. when my alarm went off. For whatever reason, waking up that early pulled me right back into my work week habits. Get up, make coffee and get dressed, all while checking emails. Something seemed very familiar but at the same time something was off. Running through the familiar paces of an early morning routine, I felt I needed to check my calendar once more, and there it was: a trip to Minneapolis in the afternoon, which I had scheduled during my vacation. Luckily, it wouldn’t be too much of a hassle to get there. My thoughts of, ‘Why did I take vacation?!” started to roll around in my head.

Work and Life BalanceThe short answer is that taking vacation is an important aspect of our work/life balance. It is crucial we take time to relax, recharge and get refocused. I can assure you that your work habit will snap you right back in line once your alarm goes off that first day back.

There are some things to be said about those work week habits I have been thinking about that I will revisit once I can get caught up. Habits, whether we know it or not, play an important role in everything that we do. We often drive to work sometimes without even thinking about it. The route and routine to work seems auto-programmed into our brains. I am sure that along with the good there is the bad.

For example, there is that habit that I have almost every work day where I get up from my desk at 3 p.m. and grab a soda. Habits can range from personal in nature to company-wide habits. Some company habits, good and bad, range from culture, accounting, safety and quality. A habit that we have here at Ulteig that I am very fond of is our habit of client intimacy. We are ingrained to serve our clients to the best of our abilities.

Looking forward beyond my late breaking drive to Minneapolis, of which I will no doubt have plenty of highway time to use for reflection, I will be thinking about my personal habits as well as thinking of my company’s habits. Are there any that need to be modified? What habits would you like to change in 2015?

About the author

Mike is our account executive for the Renewable and Power markets. His responsibilities include serving renewable energy clients throughout the United States as well as utilities located in the western part of the country, and he specializes in developing renewable energy, energy storage and electronic power solutions for his clients. He has more than 10 years of experience as a project and substation engineer. His background encompasses project management, commissioning, protective relaying, SCADA systems, substations and switchyards, conduit and raceway systems, grounding systems, field investigation and testing. From issues and techniques to new technological developments, he keeps you updated on what's happening in clean power generation.