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Welcome To Work Again – First Monday Of 2014

Going back to the daily grind after a long holiday requires extra effort.

Do not allow the first day back at work to be a filler workday that won’t count towards improving your skills, output, and career in general. Here are a few small steps you can take to cut through the haze of holiday cheer:

1. The day before, plan. Heartbreaking, we know, but it might help to run through your list of tasks the night before you have to go to work. If you ease yourself in by creating your to-do list a few hours before you head to the office, you’ll feel a little more in control. I am always up dating notes and to do’s before coming to work, regardless of vacation or days off.

2. Identify your “on button.” The first, tiny step is often the hardest. Re-trace your routine and find that small step in your day that crosses you over from barely awake to functioning human. I didn’t get “on” until about 3p today.

3. Come earlier than everyone else. It’s easy to be late on the first day back on the job, given the unpredictable flow of traffic plus the general sluggishness that comes with first-day back.

4. Allow for time to talk and catch up. You’re not a robot. Seeing people back at work will prompt conversation and small talk. That’s fine, but you’ll also have to establish some verbal cues that will signal that catch-up time is over. Try, “Great catching up with you. There’s so much to do, right?”

5. Establish your in-the-zone playlist. There’s music that makes you want to get up and party, but that’s not the kind you need right now. Go for music that’s ambient in nature, or songs with strong, even beats that you can tune out to. Turn it up while you’re working. The headphones (and the fact that you won’t immediately look up when someone calls your name) will also protect you from distraction. And it would always be KING FM right?

6. Concentrate on tasks you can complete on your own, without input from others. Not feeling the first day back on job? You’re in the majority. The first few days of the year will also see a lot of people still on leave, so there’s a chance you won’t complete a group-oriented task in its entirety. I got most of my bosses work done today.

Try to focus on things you can achieve by yourself, like a report for your boss, filing your paperwork, or responding to the mountain of emails that have materialized over the break.

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