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January 05, 2015

5 Tips to Get Back on Track After the Holidays

Whether it’s after a beach vacation, a stay-cation or just a regular ‘ol weekend, heading back to work can feel challenging when we’ve been out of our daily work schedule. Here are 5 tips to quickly get you through that first day and back into the swing of things:

1) Be Realistic. Don’t try to jump into a huge project right out of the gate. Break your first day back into small tasks that will set you up for the bigger ones, later in the week or month. Accept that you’re probably not going to have the most productive day or week and be happy with the small achievements you do make.

2) Set timers. There will be a lot of areas that need your attention and will act as constant distractions if you don’t focus. Break your day into areas; answering emails, catching up on (work related) social media, planning for future projects, etc and decide on the amount of time you want to give each area. If answering emails is the first task on your list, set a timer and commit to working on answering emails until that timer goes off. When you’re done with that task, take a small break, set your timer again and start on the next task.

3) Set very small goals. We’re not trying to break any records here or shoot for the moon. When you’re in an unmotivated state, don’t set your sights on something big that will feel unachievable and most likely demotivate you. Reach for something small that will make you feel just a little better than you do right now. Imagine you wanted to get into shape but had been eating unhealthy and laying on the couch for the past few weeks. Thinking about running a marathon is going to feel so overwhelming you won’t even want to start. But setting a goal to simply put your running shoes on and walk once around the block is an achievable goal for the day and will make you feel better about getting off the couch while motivating you for the next step. Apply this same idea to your work. You won’t complete any major projects your first day back but sending a few emails to get the ball rolling is a good place to start.

4) Clear your personal schedule. Don’t make a long day feel even longer by adding on extra errands and obligations. There are some that can’t be avoided, like taking the kids to soccer practice, but try to keep your evenings free for relaxing. A spin class may sound like the right thing to do after a week of indulging but if it’s something you’re dreading, leave it for later in the week once you’re back in your groove.

5) Reward yourself. Plan something for the end of the day that you can look forward to. Whether that’s dinner out so you don’t have to cook or a glass of wine and guilt free TV watching after the kids are in bed, indulge in something little that will make you happy and put a little pep in your step for the rest of the day.

Remember; don't be too hard on yourself. We all have down days and need time to get caught up. Start small and you'll be back to your superstar self in no time!

Image courtesySicha Pongjivanich/

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