From holiday-mode to work-mode like a boss

January Minimal Calendar Design

The prospect of facing work-mode work after a pudding and pina colada drenched holiday sure is a quick slap to the face. Last week, I was cooling my jets in the bluest of oceans and filling my belly with more prawns than I’d like to admit. This week, I had the pleasure of returning to my desk with the benign holiday hangover and an inbox full of emails. (Seriously, who is sending so many goddamned emails over Christmas?)

Time and tide waits for none, and eventually the tropical tans and fireworks fade into a distant memory. There are new projects to begin and those New Year’s resolutions to attend to. It’s a time of clean slates, fresh starts and werk werk werk werk werk.

But let’s be honest: When you sit down to face your inbox and get ready for the year ahead, your list is longer than Santa’s snowy white beard. Pass the prawns, I already feel a hand cramp coming on.

Eminem made ‘snapping back to reality’ seem a lot easier and a lot more fun, than the current vacation brain is allowing. So how do you carry that summer glow straight into your workflow and swing into work-mode with ease? To get back on track, here are 6 steps you can take to start 2017 off on the right foot.

    A New Year means a new you, or at least an opportunity to redefine and revisit who you want to be. Before you get back in the office, take some time to buckle up, then buckle down with a pen, paper and some big-ass dreams. First, I love to revisit the year that was – jot down my wins and victories, and workshop my learnings and pain points. Then, I write a bunch of goals, hopes and dreams for the year ahead – some ridiculously easy, and some I might only accomplish if I get my hands on the Limitless drug. Instead of resolutions, which I find hard to remember come March, each year I just choose one word – an overarching ‘theme’ that I can tap back into at anytime I’m feeling stressed, overwhelmed or just plain uninspired. That word becomes my theme song for the year and plays in the back of my brain as I endeavour to take the world by storm.
    Do your best to wake up early, preferably with the sun and the sparrows. To any pudding-induced sucker, this might sound borderline insane, but there is something very powerful about getting back in tune with your circadian rhythms and starting the day early. Prep your lunch, your work bag and your outfit the night before to make your mornings less zero and more hero. Getting to the office early means you can tackle a few tasks before the team arrive. After a holiday there’s always a lot of chin-wagging and storytelling, and what you each ate, and what airlines you’re no longer welcome on, etc etc. If you’re in the office early, chances are you’ve already pumped out a tonne of work before these conversations arise and you won’t feel the need to tap out early and be anti-social.
    The key to feeling good and getting instant gratification, is uploading a really great selfie, oh, and getting some small easy tasks crossed off your list early. If you’re still feeling like you could go another seven macchiatos, get a jumpstart by tackling just one small task. Make sure you begin your day with an easy (but still important) task at the top. Something as simple yet critical as unsubscribing to all of the newsletters that are no longer of interest to you is a good one. There’s nothing as invigorating as slashing a big, fat line through an item on your task list.
    It’s difficult to feel centered and ready for world domination when you’re surrounded by unfinished tasks and unfinished lunches. If your workspace is cluttered and messy, it will serve as a constant reminder of what you haven’t completed yet. This includes your onscreen desktop – put files in their folders, sort out your life admin and finish last year by filing it away. By physically tidying up your workspace or even better, giving it a little makeover, you’ll not only feel a sense of psychological relief, but you’ll be able to think more clearly and really feel like you’re getting a fresh start.
    I always start the year by digging into some good books, magazines, blogs and rabbit holes (aka. Pinterest boards), to get my juices flowing. It’s great to write a list of all the sources you want to check out in the first month back at your desk that you know will fire up your ignition and get you feeling more like a Herbal Essence commercial and less like the bottom of an empty coffee cup.
    Just because the wrapping paper and champagne bottles have been tossed, it doesn’t mean that you have to rid yourself of the crystal calm and contentment you’ve recently acquired. A holiday does wonders for the mind, body and belly fat. Try to retain some of that vibe as you enter a new year (maybe not the belly fat, that can vacate the premises asap). Just don’t go too hard on yourself, you’ll get back into the rhythm soon enough, and to be honest – the ‘stresshead you’ can wait. Treat yo’self to a lunch break with a friend, get a massage after work, maybe even have a sneaky tipple in the lunchroom… Remember that just because the 2017 calendar has caught up with us all, that doesn’t mean our chill privileges have been revoked.

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