Many people find it hard to return to work after the long Christmas and New Year slowdown, but the pandemic has slowed many people down to a halt. It may take longer than normal for some people to return to their usual productivity levels – but why stop at “usual” when things are unusual? Why not aim higher?
To help you do just that, here are 4 productivity tips to being as productive as possible when you return to work.
1. Know what you want to be different
Think about what normally happens when you start back at work. What tasks do you do that don’t really need to be done? What high-value tasks can you do instead? How much time do you usually have before things properly kick in and you’re very busy?
If you think about what you want to change so that you can start the year right, your intentions will be clear going into your first day and you’ll be far more likely to achieve what you want.
2. Identify the habits you'll need to change
When you know your intentions (i.e. what you want to change), you then need to think about what action you will take. What steps do you need to take every day? Do you need to break bad habits that waste time and create new ones or do you just need to adapt them?
For example, if you want to develop a habit to do business development every day, try to link this to another habit that you already have. Something like, every morning after I get a cup of coffee and switch on my computer, I will do 10 minutes of engagement on LinkedIn.
3. Prioritise the right tasks
You shouldn’t have mounting emails or multiple requests from team members on your first day back, so use this time wisely. Prioritise the tasks that give you the most bang for your buck or the essentials that usually get pushed further and further down your to-do list. Plan your work for the next few months and start getting ahead.
You can even use this time to build those all-important relationships with your network. Phone up your best clients to find out how their Christmas went, let them know you’re back and to give you a shout if they need anything.
4. Don't forget to look after yourself
Yes, looking after yourself is essential for productivity! The worst thing you can do is return to work and slot right back into the busyness and leave all those benefits that come with having a break behind. All that will do is result in you getting overwhelmed and potentially burning out after a few weeks or months. Instead, you should use this time to implement some self-care elements into your routine which you can carry on throughout the year.
Find out what works for you. Maybe it’s writing down a few things that you’re grateful for at the start of every workday. Maybe it’s going for a walk at lunch or the gym after work. Whatever helps you to focus when you’re working and switch off when you’re not, you need to make these a part of your daily work routine. What you’ll find is that you’ll keep that holiday feeling for as long as possible AND you’ll transition into a much healthier way of working where you’re far more productive.