Back-to-work blues have typically diminished thanks to catching up with workmates and discussing holiday highs (and lows) before considering the next round of holiday plans. However, the start of the 2021 working year might be proving a little more challenging than previous years, and with that, de-motivation and unproductivity can manifest.
If you're struggling to get motivated and productive in the new year, then here are six actionable steps to assist with your return to work:
1. Clean up your inbox.
Spring clean your inbox by creating folders, file away emails and follow a consistent email management process. A clear and concise workspace will provide clarity to focus.
2. Plan accordingly.
Allow yourself time to ease back into things by designing your calendar. Create realistic deadlines and plan accordingly. Write them down in a notebook, enter them into an online organiser or put them in your calendar - whatever works best for you.
3. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with your manager.
During the meeting, talk about long and short-term projects you're working on. Also, use this as an opportunity to get feedback about your overall performance. By doing so, this can help you even start some preliminary planning for your future.
4. Reassess your career goals.
Take the time to write down goals you've set over the years. Doing so will allow you to reflect on what you have achieved to date, what you would like to accomplish in the future, and reassess where required. You can then start to put the plan's into place to achieve those goals.
5. Commit to smaller blocks of time, and take regular short breaks.
Break down your work into smaller blocks than usual, and set a timer. You can always repeat the time block and continue working if you have some momentum. It's also essential to take regular breaks, even if it's a stretch break, going for a walk, or meditating.
6. Create daily lists and nurture the completion bias in you.
Create a checklist, even for the small tasks. When crossing off chores, it gives our brains a good dose of dopamine whenever we cross off items.