Manage those ‘Back to Work’ blues after Christmas!

You hear that unfamiliar sound of an alarm, open your eyes and realise how dark it still is and then reality hits you…it is time to go back to work after the Christmas holidays! The first week back can be an uphill struggle as you readjust to not only the working week schedule, but also try to remind yourself of the projects you were in the middle of or the urgent tasks you need to get on with.  Bearing this in mind, we have some top tips to help you get through your first week back…

Set yourself work goals.  Think about what you wish to achieve this year in your job and work out what the key steps are in order for you to do this.  Write or type these out and place them somewhere around your desk or office as a reminder.  This will keep you motivated and on track to ensure you achieve your aspirations.

Get some dates in the diary.  Beat the blues of returning to work and reality by arranging things to do in the evenings or weekends and organise some social events.

Listen to songs which put you in a good mood.  Listening to happy songs or songs which remind you of a happy experience or event will work wonders in boosting your mood.  Why not create a playlist to listen to on the way to work and on the way home?

Get yourself laughing.  Laughter is a mood booster!  When you laugh you release endorphins which assist in making you feel happier.  So put on your favourite sitcom or comedy film and have a good laugh.

Change it up a bit this new year. It is a brand new year, so why not treat yourself to a bit of a change around at your work station.  This could be as simple as changing your computer screen background, putting some new photos up or buying some new stationary or a new office mug to use!

Reflect on your time off.  We can all too easily get caught up in the negative mind-set of ‘I need another week off, there are still things I want and need to do before I go back to work!’  To rid yourself of this damaging mood, take a moment to reflect on what you did do and what you enjoyed over the Christmas period.  This will make you feel more grateful for, and appreciate your time off.

Prioritise your emails.  That huge number of emails can seem very overwhelming, so do not put yourself under too much pressure.  Prioritise them by sender and subject and deal with those which need immediate attention first and respond to those which are not so urgent by notifying them you will be following-up soon.

Don’t drop yourself into the deep end.  You will most likely find you have a growing to-do list as you become accustomed back into work and sift through your emails.  However, be careful that you do not overload yourself with too much too soon.  Do not try to cram everything you need to do and every meeting you need to organise into the first week if it is not realistic.

Don’t be afraid to delegate.  If you have received a correspondence or are faced with a project which you would not usually deal with, or believe would be dealt better by someone else, then delegate.  As a manager, this will not only free you up to focus on more pressing tasks, but also provide a new opportunity for someone else within your team.

Schedule in catch-up meetings with your team.  After everyone has got back into ‘work mode’ and dealt with their urgent projects, organise some catch-up meetings with your team.  This will help you to understand everyone else’s aspirations for work this year and consequently, help you to delegate more effectively to coincide with what they wish to achieve and in what areas they wish to develop.

Going back to work after the Christmas break is never easy, however, these techniques will help to make the return to work more manageable, effective and enjoyable.  Let us know if you have any other top tips!

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