Well... 2016 is here. The Christmas shopping rush is gone and the gifts you braved through huge crowds for have been unwrapped. The Christmas dinner has either been gobbled up or remnants of it thrown out and the mistletoes have witnessed enough kisses to last until Valentine's Day. The Christmas carols are all sung out and you even got through Auld Lang Syne as the ball dropped for the New Year. The trees are packed up or laying on the curb and the hangover from New Year's Eve has subsided into the abyss. Now comes the first work day of the year... Monday. After all that celebrating, you almost feel like you need a vacation to recharge from the holiday vacation. After all that family time, eating big meals and partying... who feels like going back to work? How can we POSSIBLY get back into the work routine?
Well... it turns out that I just may have a few ideas. Care to listen? Grab a cup of hot cocoa while I go over them with you.
Make a Routine and Stick to It!
A good way to get into the swing of things is to get a routine. The great thing about a routine is you are the one who gets to create it! You have control over how you will plan your days and how they should run. When you create a routine, remember to be flexible and build it around what you love and need. For example: I love photography (obviously...), I love family time, but I need time for myself to energize and stay sane. So not only have a built a work routine that handles most of my work responsibilities... I have also built a morning and night routine and I have thrown in some family days throughout the month. My morning routine is designed to get me up, energized and ready to work. My nightly routine is designed to help me decompress, de-stress and recharge.
This can be used for all types of things. If you have a problem being productive, make a list, set start and stop times for each task and challenge yourself to stick to those times. Set a timer if you need to. Try to beat the clock. Make it a game. Another way you can time yourself... if you have an issue with distractions, set a time where those distractions are allowed. For example: Social Media. If you keep getting distracted by your Facebook notifications, TURN THEM OFF. Set times throughout the work day that you can check your feeds (probably 2-4 times) and stay focused on your work stopping only to check your feeds during those designated times. Same goes for checking your emails.
I have the tendency to have a hard time staying motivated. If you are in my boat, you know the feeling of being ready to take on the day or month and burning out before you even get halfway through. I combat that by surrounding myself with things that motivate me. Personally, I love quotes and inspirational photos that remind me of my goals. I went through all my social media and cleaned out all the negative stuff. Once that was done, I only followed pages that were positive or had something to do with my job or my goals. Another good thing to do is have a reward waiting for you when you work hard. My idea of a reward? I tend to get a bit unfocused around 3pm. So at 3pm, I plan to take a break with a nice cool slushie. I know some of you may be sitting there thinking, "A slushie?.." Hey listen, I LOVE slushies. My point is... think of what you love and make it a nice little reward.
Write Things Down
This is so important! Write down everything! Your tasks, your goals, your dreams, everything. If you aren't a person who likes to write (like me.), record it electronically. I have an app that I can take notes or make to do lists with on my phone. I can share those notes to my laptop or PC also. Please don't write things down just to forget them. REVIEW them. At the end of the day, review your notes. What will you do with them, what action do you need to take? Get it done.
Don't just stay locked up in your office as if you're in some sort of office hibernation. Get social! Get involved in your community, host a social, help other business people get connected with people, network, go to conventions, the list goes on. This is such a great way to not only meet new people and possibly find new clients, it is also a great way to feel good about your business and stay focused on what you do. Who says we can't work AND have fun?
Getting back to work doesn't have to be daunting. If you get your mind in the right place and plan your days out, you will find that working can actually feel pretty good. Especially when you reach your goals.