4 Steps to Beat the Dreaded Post-Holiday Slump

January 3, 2018

Ah, hello 2018. I’m so excited to be back in the office, working with new clients on some amazing projects and booking even more so that I can share their story and expertise with their audience. I took a much needed break during the holidays and boy let me tell you, there was a lot of video games and boardgames played. How many times I won those, I’ll keep to myself. But I feel rejuvenated and motivated to accomplish some amazing goals this year. I know that I’ll need to boost my productivity and work smarter this year.

But…getting my head back in the game is proving to be tough. But isn’t it always after a vacation? I’ve found when I come back to work after more than a day or two away, I know what needs to be done but it seems like my mind is racing and distractions are everywhere. Maybe you feel that way too. Today, I’ll share 4 simple but effective steps I take to jump back into work.

Step 1 – Brain Dump

The biggest reason it’s so hard to focus is usually the crazy amount of ideas, tasks, and just plain chatter you have running around your brain. First, I take a piece of paper and just speed write everything I’m thinking about until it’s quiet up there. I don’t worry about handwriting, I just go with the flow. You definitely want to set a timer (at most 10 minutes) so that you can start with a clean plate.

Before moving onto the next step, I run through the list again to highlight anything that seems like a genuinely good idea I’d like to pursue or if there are any tasks that need to be done soon.

Step 2 – Give Yourself One More Hour

Do you usually start your workday at 9? Or maybe 10 is your thing. Whenever your business hours begin on the day you return, give yourself one more hour of rest. Diving in head first while being overwhelmed will just waste a ton of your time while you sit there blankly staring at your inbox. During this time, I recommend:

• reading a new book, or the one you had almost finished on vacation
• exercising, so many benefits to work out before work anyway…but it’s especially great to clear your mind and wake yourself up
• journaling if you’re still having some thoughts plague your head, especially if they are negative
• getting those last minute chores and cleaning up out of the way so that you won’t have to worry about it later

Step 3 – Tackle “The Worst” First

This step is my tip of the day for you because I actually try and complete the most boring, technical, or least enjoyable tasks I need to do right in the morning when I first start working. Once the not-so-great items are off of my to-do list, I feel more free for the rest of the day to be more creative, more relaxed, and when those moments come up that you have awful creative block, it’s easier to give yourself some grace at that point and say, “I got the important stuff done, I’m gonna go watch a horror movie to relax”. Or at least, I watch horror movies to relax. Anyone else?

Step 4 – Revisit Your List

Remember that list you wrote out and highlighted the juicy parts? I wrap up my first day back by adding the tasks from this list to my planner/to-do list or I brainstorm some action steps I can take to accomplish some of the bigger ideas. I use a Simplified Planner and Powersheets to stay on track and this method always opens some fun new ideas I can try out in my business.

What is your most proven way to boost productivity at work when you’ve been away? Let me know in the comments!

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