Happy New DecadePosted in : HR Updates on 7 January 2020
Not only have we entered a New Year but also a brand-new decade. As we say goodbye to 2019 many of us will be adjusting back to working life which can be challenging no matter how much we love our jobs. Personally, I take full advantage of the lie-ins, overindulgence and lack of routine during the holidays that I struggle to get used to my 6am alarm and transition back into work mode. But it's important to remember that most people will probably feel pretty similar so I thought it might be helpful to share some of my top tips on returning to work after the holidays.
Sleep well and be mindful
I don't know about you, but the night before I go back to work, I always find it difficult to get to sleep, worrying that I'll miss my alarm or simply that my mind is over active. Mindfulness can be a very useful tool to help declutter the mind, whether practiced alone or through a sleep app. Or simply focusing on breathing or a calming memory can also work very well. Granted these techniques take time to practice so it is worthwhile considering adopting these on a nightly basis.
Get your inbox in order
My first task is always to tackle my inbox and sift through emails that need to be actioned and prioritised and those that can be deleted. There's nothing more satisfying than being able to hit the 'X' button on all the spam mail. And by prioritising the remaining emails you have already started to add a bit of structure to your day. Once complete, it's time to roll the sleeves up and get to work.
Remember to eat and take breaks
It can be very difficult to suddenly go from pretty much eating (and drinking) what and when you like, to eating at set times and within moderation (and I wonder why my trousers are tight!). Prepare healthy snacks and lunch the night before and remember to actually eat and take your breaks. It's tempting to fall back into working through lunch, but we all know that it doesn't mean that we'll work any smarter. Take your lunch, get out for a walk or simply get away from your desk and enjoy a decent 'brain break'. Your afternoon will be much more productive because of it.
Prioritise and set goals
I usually do most of this before I wrap up for Christmas but the first week back in January is a good time to plan, prioritise and set goals for the year ahead. This ties in with the performance management cycle so your personal goals will also need to fit in with the goals of the team and overall business. It's also great for giving focus rather than trying to wade through a long, overwhelming to-do list.
Why wait until spring to declutter? Take time to shred, bin and clear away anything that you no longer need or use. The old mantra, 'a tidy desk is a tidy mind' is spot-on. Piles of mounting paperwork can be very distracting to look at, so start the year off with a clear desk.
Think about the things you enjoy
Rather than fret about returning to work, why not think about all the things you like or even love about your job instead. The tasks that you find most interesting, the opportunity to be creative, working with great colleagues and/or friends. Whatever your reason, remember them. And if you can't think of any, then perhaps this isn't the job for you.
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