By now, the seeing as it's the end of Wellington Anniversary weekend, you're probably back at work, like moi, looking depressedly into your black filter coffee (p.s. read to the end to find out how to win one of three MadMex Vouchers to jumpstart your back to work regime).
When I got back to work on 4 January (I've been stingy on the leave so I can save it up for later on this year), I have to admit I was a bit apprehensive about getting back into that 8:30 - 5:30 milarky. It just felt a bit ridiculous having had a little time off. Why should we have to work? Why can’t we just go outside whenever we want? Surely this screen time is bad! Why do we need to look at a screen for 9 hours a day? (and more if you, like me, have a side hustle!).
I think the simplest way to look at is is that, overall, we’re pretty lucky to work. You know, in a sense for most of us, work gives us choice in our personal lives with money. And, often, its a place for spending time with colleagues, learning, growth and development. Some days do suck, that’s so true. But once you get into the swing of work, it gives structure, purpose and satisfaction to life.
So on that fairly upbeat note, which no doubt I’ll be retracting in a few weeks time, I wanted to share my top 5 tips for getting back to work. A few people asked me about this when they were arriving back at work,
1. Start Fresh Start
Yesterday is history, the future is a mystery, today is a gift - that’s why they call it the present! Okay, I KNOW that talking like a new-age little book of calm isn’t going to necessarily wash with you lot but hear me out. The time has come to put last year behind you. Leave your frustrations, irritations and resentment against Helga from accounts who once spilled the beans on your ‘sick day’ in 2017. Throw out the many printed emails you swore you’d look at. File your emails properly. If you work from home, file and put away any documents or files on your laptop you don’t need anymore. Wipe your desk with Jif and Spray ’n’ Wipe. Get that new diary started. Shake the crumbs from your keyboard. Come-on my girl/son - 2018 is your YEAR! If you adopt a new mindset, thinking to the year ahead and seeing it as a place of possibility rather than holding onto the past, you’ll find being in the present is much more bearable.
2. Get enough sleep and think about cutting out alcohol
Another nice way to think about the new year and getting back into work is how to make it work for you, not you work for work. Instead of waking up at 8:15 and rushing into work, why not rise with the birds and make it a new start. If you want to wake up early for work though, you need to go to bed early. Eight hours is important to get that beauty sleep! And easy on the Pinot Gris. Christmas is over and it is VERY humid at night so to make sure you get the best quality sleep and stay asleep, stay hydrated. I know, its hard, but perhaps you don’t need another glass of vino or to watch three episodes of Peaky Blinders a night. Maybe two is fine and get another hours sleep. Have some tea. In fact, why don’t you try and read a book to help you unwind? Spray some lavender spray on your pillow and soon you’ll be drifting into the land of nod.
3. Get organised with lists + calendars
Where would I be without a note-pad and pen? I love making to-do lists at work and these are my core tools. Personally, I don’t go fancy with my equipment - just the office gear will do. However, I do like an A4 size notepad so I can write down the page. I might not do a new to do list every day but I try and keep it around every few days. I deliberately use a red pen to cross out when I’ve finished a task, and frequently review in case there is something I can easily knock off to make myself feel good. A good list will help you gain a sense of achievement through the week as you see that red pen and give yourself a pat on the back for all you’ve done.
4. Set some goals for YOU
I think that a little bit of personal goal setting can be a good thing. Last year, I set myself the goal to try and anticipate what my boss wanted more and be pro-active. It was good to have as a goal because then I’d treat emails etc as an opportunity to ask whether I could help or arrange a meeting off the back of work. This was treated favourably and I had a good end of year review. Another goal I set was to try and get out there a bit more in the office. I certainly met people more in 2017 but I think I’d like to try and find out more about other people’s roles in 2018 as well. What are your personal work goals? Don’t make them project focused but more about what kind of person you want to be. Write them down somewhere and pop them in a drawer or in a file. Or even better, put on a post-it note you’ll see every day to motivate you to bring that bad-ass bawse to work.
5. Do something for yourself before you start your day
I have decided that as much as possible I no longer want to spend all night blogging until late. I’d rather get up early when Matt does to go to work and head to my favourite cafe to do some blog work before the day begins. This is like giving myself a reward, just for showing up in the morning (as we all know, I do love to blog). I’ll have my Rose and Manuka tea, get out my laptop and depending on whether I need the internet or not, either write or hotspot off my phone. So far, I’m really enjoying the routine.
When it gets a bit colder, I expect I’ll start going back to hot yoga (I’ve just found it too hot outside to go this Jan) and head to a 6am class (agh - now that IS early). The time may seem murderous but it really is a fantastic way to start the day.
So whether you run, swim, write, walk or simply have a cup of tea, make sure you start your day before work with some time for you, even if that is 3 minutes putting on makeup or having a cuddle in bed. You’ll be surprised at how it can improve your mood. Since Matt and I decided we’d compromise in the mornings, we’ve ceased our bickering and are psyched for the day (well, maybe not quite but you know!).