With the festive season well and truly behind us and a year of work looming ahead, many of us can find getting back into the swing of things difficult.
When the sun is still shining and the traffic is glorious, it feels as though we should still be on holidays.
The thought of leaving the freedom of the holidays behind and dragging ourselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to go to work can be downright daunting for some people, even those who love what they do for work. Throw in any feelings of guilt of well-intended resolutions we may have already abandoned and you’re looking at a serious case of back to work blues.
How can we get back on track and adopt a more positive mindset as we head back to work?
Here are six tips and strategies to make this transition as smooth and stress free as possible
1. Have things booked for the year ahead. Whether it’s a networking event, dentist appointment or a massage, having things booked ahead will help put you in a working frame of mind and helps you avoid putting things off, thus giving you a sense of achievement.
2. Do one thing at a time. After being away from work there will no doubt be an avalanche of things to catch up on. Rather than allowing yourself to become overwhelmed, which won’t help anyone, focus on one task at a time. Better to complete one thing well than ten things haphazardly.
3. Plan before you leave. Its probably too late for this one but it is worth remembering for future holidays. Have a detailed plan of what needs to be done upon your return to eliminate stress on your first day back.
Leave your work space clean before you leave so you can return to an ordered space and not have to worry about cleaning up when you return.
4. Have your clothes organised the night before. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to throw together an outfit in a rush, especially on your first day back at work. Take some time over the weekend to have your clothing ready for the week ahead, making sure garments are clean and ironed.
Group items of clothing into outfits and give them a designated and easily accessible space in your wardrobe so all you have to do in the morning is grab and go!
5. Similarly, spend some time preparing your meals for the week ahead. Taking the time to put together healthy snacks and lunches will ensure that no matter how busy your day gets, you will always have good, healthy food readily available to help power you through the day.
6. Consider your commute. Whether you drive or catch public transport, aim to leave the house 10-15 minutes earlier than you normally would. This is a good habit to get in as this extra time allows you to remain calm if the inevitable traffic jam or cancelled train occurs.
Getting to work earlier will give you some time to gently ease into your day. You can make a cup of tea or coffee and savor the peace and quiet before the working day starts
If you use public transport, check timetables the night before in case there have been alterations.
By implementing these practices into your daily routine, you will not only be reducing stress for your first day back at work, but for as long as you decide to keep up with them. You may find that your mornings run more smoothly and you are less frazzled when you arrive at work.
Even if you only manage to master one or two of these tips you will still reap the benefits being prepared and organised has to offer.
It might take a little while to make these changes stick but for every minute you spend planning you will save at least ten minutes down the track.
There are a lot of things in life we cant control, but by focusing on the things we can control and taking the time to make our lives easier, the transition from holiday to work will be a little less jarring and a lot more rewarding.
Returning to work after a break can certainly be difficult but with a bit of planning things can run a lot more smoothly.