As the festivities officially finish and we try to squeeze every last drop out of the holidays, the stark reality is that there is not a tougher time to go to back to work.
Telling your colleagues what you got up to over the break will only last so long and motivation levels will need some serious work. So stop the subtle whinging and ease back in with minimal fuss.
#1 Make small changes to your routine
Whether or not you had a decent routine last year, change things up now. Routine’s are great for getting yourself into the mental state of work, but make some subtle changes here and there. For example, if you went to the gym after work normally, maybe go before work for a few weeks and see how you go.
Maybe instead of toast for breakfast in the office, bring in some oats or cereal. Keep it fresh because there is nothing like coming back to the same old routine your body is used to and a bit bored by. Subtle changes will keep you on your toes and make things feel a bit different.
#2 Write down some work related goals
Something that is a lot easier said than done. But use the New Year to plan ahead for what you want to achieve this working year. It’s pretty easy to stay stagnant in the workplace, get comfortable in your position and lose track of your progress. So actually go away for a bit and write down some things you’re keen to do at work this year. It doesn’t matter if they are a bit general/wide or quite niche/focused, but write them down and chuck them in your wallet or purse, maybe even somewhere in sight (ie office table, next to computer, fridge at home etc.)
Re-visit a couple of months into the year and use as motivation.
#3 Tee up fun stuff with colleagues outside of work
There is nothing worse than working somewhere or with people who you don’t vibe with. So rally up some new faces in the office, or people you already know decently well and organise drinks, gym, brunch, or whatever you fancy. Importantly, keep that shit out of work. After work drinks on a Friday are so much different to a planned drinks night on a Saturday.
You want to keep that separation from work matters and your social life, but at the same time have a few people at work that you can grab coffee with or have solid banter with. Will make Monday afternoons much easier.
#4 Invest in a good morning break
Whether it’s coffee, juice, a walk, whatever. Just set one up and make it regular. Personally, I’m a 9:05-9:15am coffee type of person, but usually go to a café that is a solid 5 or so minute walk away with a mate. A good time to just clear out any little cat videos still lingering in your mind from the night before. Keep it consistent and try to go with someone.
#5 Don’t over commit
You’re probably already struggling for a bit of drive after a chilled period off, so stay away from overcommitting at work. The last thing you want is to be overloading your plate early in the return to work. Not only will you just get super stressed very quickly, but it’ll probably be awful quality as well. Play to your strengths and ease back into potentially big workloads (where possible).
You got this.
Image Source: Yoga & Brunch in the Vines, ABC Radio Australia