No matter how rewarding your career is, those first days at work after the winter break can be a real shock to the system. If you’re already flagging, help ease yourself back into the workday routine with these simple tips for your most productive January yet.
Change the way you handle your emails
If at all possible, schedule time in your diary for dealing with emails. This will give you time to go through your inbox, marking items for follow up and prioritising further action. Plan on spending time in this way and it won’t feel so stressful.
If your role requires you to regularly spend time away from the office, use an automated response message to manage expectations about your predicted timescale for responding.
Take the opportunity to boost working relationships
When I worked for a local authority, taking annual leave meant that my teammates were under extra strain to cover appointments and a busy shared telephone line – especially over the Christmas holiday period. If you’ve taken a few extra days off, spare a thought for those who have helped to keep things running smoothly in your absence!
Try to be positive when talking to colleagues, and make a point of personally thanking anyone who helped cover your workload while you were away. They’ll be glad to have you back, and you might be surprised by the boost that a warm welcome gives you.
Keep looking forward
Everyone needs something to look forward to, so make sure to put some energy into making other exciting plans for the near future. For most of us our summer holiday is the next major break on our calendars, but do consider booking a day off to do something smaller in scale in the meantime.
It could be a day at the seaside, a visit to the theatre, or a get-together with friends you haven’t seen for ages – the key thing is to set a date. Just having something fun on the horizon can make a real difference during those first few days back.
Turn over a new leaf
For many people, New Year’s Resolutions are associated with improving physical health – whether it’s giving up smoking, eating less junk food, or going to the gym. However, the start of a new year is also an ideal time to take up a new interest – or return to an old one.
This year, try adding a resolution to develop a brand new habit you’re really excited about. It’s tempting to spend evenings curled up indoors during the colder months, but finally taking that art class, learning a language or taking up a new sport can be far better for your overall wellbeing and your day to day energy levels.
Do you have any tips for making the return to work easier? Share them in the comments below.
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