How to 'get going' after Christmas
Posted on 27th December 2023 at 09:00
Do you struggle to 'get going' after the Christmas and New Year break? Did you put everything on the 'January' pile when you went off in December, and are now feeling overwhelmed?
You're not alone.
Unless you are one of those people who leave themselves notes/reminders/structured to-do lists for when you return (top tip for next year) you may well be feeling demoralised.
Here are some pointers that may help you get back up to speed when you return.
1. Don't book anything meaty on your first few days back
Going from zero to 100mph is enough to raise anyone's cortisol levels (that's the stress hormone - too much of it will interfere with your sleep, your wellbeing and your ability to focus).
Consider the tasks awaiting you and, as much as you can, delay the most difficult ones. This may seem like you are postponing the 'dread', but easing yourself back in will mean you can deal with the more dreaded tasks more comfortably. Don't delay them for too long though, as they will grow in their dreadness.
2. Triage the tasks
Happily, email tends to go down over the Christmas and New Year period, but be careful of feeling overwhelmed.
Break it down - scan down the entire task list pick the ones that look most urgent, and schedule them to deal with based on how important and urgent they are. 'Very Important' plus 'Very Urgent' should be top of the list, while 'Not Urgent' and 'Very Important', and 'Very Urgent' and 'Not Important' should follow afterward.
3. Be kind to yourself
Factor in things that will make you smile - whether that's meeting a colleague or going for a walk over lunchtime (please do take a lunchtime) or planning a film or a bubble bath in the evening. Having something nice to look forward to will help reduce cortisol levels as well as create some break time between all the tasks.
4. Touch in with your manager or team
Touching in with your manager and/or team will mean that you can rekindle that sense of feeling up-to-speed with everything and you can agree on what the most pressing things are to focus on.
Crucially, you can also agree on those things that realistically are not going to be dealt with in your first few days back.
Resetting and reconnecting is a great way of putting things into perspective.
5. Take stock
If you've tried various strategies and returning to work still brings unhappiness, it may be a sign that you need to take a longer look at where you are in your career or home life. Reflect on what you are feeling, on what causes agitation as well as joy.
Weekend dread, work worries, and daily frustrations are not good for nobody. Talking is key, whether it's with your manager, at home, or with a counsellor, therapist or coach.
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