Holidays are a major disruptor. I love them, but it seems to me that during the holiday season, all the patterns of my life are up-ended! I am betting the same is true for you. And every year I am honestly amazed at how long it takes to recover. So, here we are, almost three weeks into the New Year. From where you sit, how are you doing? I confess, I have not “quite” recovered! I have a theory (and maybe it’s been referenced before) that it takes most of us about two weeks to lose the luster of the holiday season and settle back into our work patterns.
There’s plenty of online information about recovering diet and fitness strategies after the holidays, but there’s not much information on how to readjust to the workplace. And what compounds the importance of this even more is that for many companies, January is also the beginning of a new fiscal year.
It’s a perfect storm, really. Paperwork has laid idle on the desk; the email inbox is full; new projects are beginning, but old projects aren’t finished. And I am still finding a holiday decoration here and there that didn’t make it into the storage box. I ask myself, “How do I – how do we – shake off being away from the office, come back from holiday “crazy”, and then realign ourselves back into productivity?
It can be done. (I think I can; I think I can!) Here are some steps I think might help:
Step 1 – Commit to being accountable.
Revisit projects and priorities. Make a list and note due dates, deliverables, collaboration, and meetings that need to happen to get each item done. In essence, reestablish accountability to yourself, your coworkers and your company.
Step 2 – Organize.
The new year is such a perfect time to purge unnecessary and/or outdated files and papers. Streamline and archive your digital files, and set up folders and plans for tracking new projects.
Step 3 – Start early.
New year’s resolution: start early vs. staying late. Set the stage each day to accomplish specific tasks during normal work hours as much as possible. Find creative, innovative ways to work smarter and manage time more efficiently, so you can be more productive and still be home for dinner at a decent time.
Step 4 – Collaborate.
There is so much truth to “two heads are better than one.” Reach out to colleagues, mentors, and supervisors to develop some functional collaboration that will help you all reach your goals more efficiently and more effectively.
Step 5 – Set goals.
In addition to the project goals that come with the territory of your position, define some personal goals that you want to achieve in the process. Think of creative ways to merge those activities so that each one fuels the other.
Step 6 – Imagine.
We’ve been talking about disruption. Every business is, has recently been, or will tomorrow be disrupted. What “should” you be thinking about? Commit this year to researching new ideas and new trends. Take time to ideate.
Step 7 – Enjoy yourself!
We work best when we are happy and when we speak well of our co-workers, our work, and our mission. Much of happiness is habit. Promise yourself that you will practice.
Resuming a routine is often more difficult than starting a brand new one. Jump-starting our efforts can help us make this the “best” year ever.
Please let me know how you’re doing and some tricks of your own that you’d like to share.