Getting back into the flow of work after the Christmas break is like when you return from a holiday, except you feel the added pressure of coming up with elaborate goals and plans and showing off your “new year, new me” persona. But it doesn’t have to be a hard task settling into work after the festivities and you don’t have to feel the pressure of reinventing yourself just because the date has changed.
With just a few preparations and changes to your mindset, you can make it through the month of January without pining for Christmas again (too much!).
1. Embrace the post-Christmas slump and use it to your advantage
It is important to remember that everyone is experiencing the blues – it’s no one’s fault, it’s an inevitable part of having any length of time off work. During the first week back in it is very common to display both strengths and weaknesses, just be honest with yourself and acknowledge where your energy will be best channelled to get the ball rolling. That could be brushing up on the use of systems and equipment, having a catch up with your line manager or team or taking the time to catch up with emails or backlog of work.
2. Make sure you’re prepared
You may have a tried and tested before work routine, but it can be easy to fall out of that routine once January hits and you’ve not had to worry about work. By taking the time to get yourself back into the flow can really set you up for a pain-free January.
There are the simple tasks of laying out your clothes and making your lunch, but you can also get a head start on your emails, deleting anything that isn’t relevant, so you can focus on the important ones at work, or plan out your diary for the next day so nothing comes as a surprise.
3. Set realistic goals
People still have the mentality that because it’s a new year, they have to set themselves huge goals, both personal and professional. It can be easy to get caught up thinking you need to create an elaborate goal too, especially after hearing everyone else’s new year’s resolutions. We’re not saying don’t set yourself goals but set yourself goals that are achievable but stretch you that bit further – it could be speaking up more in meetings, presenting new ideas to your manager or a personal goal that will improve your productivity overall.
4. Accept that you will be tired
You’ll be tired for at least the first week back at work and that’s not something to be worried about. A lot of people experience social jet lag after the festive period, a very real condition that is caused by irregular sleeping patterns. All you can do is get through the week as best as you can – unless you have a job that can be affected by tiredness from a health and safety point of view, then you need to take extra steps to ensure you are awake enough for the working day.
Everyone is in the same boat and will be lagging at some point during the first week though. Make sure you take regular breaks and do whatever works best for you if that’s drinking coffee or getting outside at lunch for a stroll.