The holidays are long gone. It has been almost a month now but you can’t seem to get back in the game. You feel both festive and tired and the last thing on your mind is work.
After consuming absurd amounts of food, spending some “quality” time with your everything-but-harmonious family, and starting a new year with a new set of resolutions – going back to your same old life can be exhausting and the feeling of exhaustion can last up to 2 months, according to psychologists. Even so, you must get up every day and come to the office (or sit in front of your computer) and be a top-notch employee.
OK, but the big question is how?
How to make your return to a work routine stress-free?
The ABCDE method
When we first come back to the office after holidays it can hard to prioritize all the work waiting for us. Creating a list of all the tasks you have to get done can seem daunting.
If you’re struggling to focus and don’t know where to even start being the old effective you, taking a look at the ABCDE method can make all the difference. The key thing here is prioritization and limiting the number of things you focus on.
This method is, in fact, a regular to-do list, only more organized and even more constructive. All tasks are categorized from A to E and each category holds a different level of importance. It makes it easy to identify those task that lead to success while, at the same time, to determine the items that are nothing but distractions.
Listen to music
Sounds pretty lame, we know, but did you ever hear about Music therapy?
Clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.
But, basically, that is just letting music heal and power-boost you.
You can minimize the sluggishness you might still feel, even after almost a month after the holidays. Listening to music also helps you keep concentrated enough by minimizing the noise and distractions around you.
Take your headphones everywhere with you, while commuting, while taking a solo break and while you are doing not-so-demanding tasks.
Make the best out of working in a collective
Talk to your colleagues, share your thought, jokes and your doubts. Give each other some quality pep talk. No one is immune to that and it can do wonders.
Also, making each other accountable for the work that needs to be done can be a great step to getting back to where you were before the holidays. If you’re not working in a very big team, having a stand up morning meeting is generally a good idea. In no more than 20 minutes all of you can share what you’ve done yesterday and what you have planned for the day ahead.
No matter how hard it might seem focus on the positive aspects and try to avoid all the negativity.
You can do that by listing all the things you should be grateful for when it comes to your job. List your favorite colleague, the fact that you live close to the office or that you have a really good coffee maker.
This can make all the difference in how you start each day at the office.
Doing something complex first thing after a great holiday can be extremely hard. You have no idea where to start while the deadlines are slowly starting to creep in.
Brake these major assignments into smaller tasks that seem more manageable and create daily goals. This will make it easier to find the extra motivation to do a good job.
Find your motivation
As we mentioned previously, motivation can be a bit difficulty once we’re accustomed to having all of our time just for leisure.
Sub-targets can be a great way to overcome this for day to day motivation, however you can dig a little deeper if you need a bigger push. Try imagining where you’re job can take you in the next five years or what are the new things you’ll be learning on a new project you’ll soon be starting.
Organize your inbox
Start by going over your inbox. After some time out of the office, there is surely a pile of emails with low priority that is waiting for you to respond. The more you pile it, the less probable it is that you will eventually answer all or some of them.
Create email labels named, let’s say: Needs an answer today, Needs an answer this week, and Probably deletable.
Then filter all unanswered emails into these three folders.
When you do so, just focus on that first folder today and save the last folder for Friday, when you’re done with work for the week.
Keep this system for the future as well.
Try your best and relax
The main idea is to not overwhelm yourself right away and get discouraged as soon as you open your laptop. Give yourself a chance to shift your perspective. Take a small break when you get tired, read an interesting blog post on industry news that you’ve missed, catch up on everything that’s happened at work while you were gone.
And most importantly, remember that one unproductive day does not have to determine the whole week.
Whatever advice you decide to follow, remember that it’s quite normal to feel this way, even a month after the holiday. You will certainly need some time to get back on your feet, but why not shorten that time by doing constructive things that can make you feel and do better.