The holidays are treasured for a reason – festive dinners, celebratory gatherings and the extra time away from our jobs are enough to make us forget why we even stress about work in the first place.
That is, until we find ourselves lost in a frenzy come January 2nd.
Returning back to the workplace after holiday bliss can be a harsh transition, where a seemingly empty task list can crowd in a matter of minutes.
Fortunately, after experiencing this post holiday stress for many years, we have seen that implementing a few practical – yet simple, preparations can make all the difference in returning to the workplace.
And now with the holidays upon us, we’ve got you covered. Here are some tips to help make your re-entry to work less painful and more productive.
The Night Before
Start Checking Emails
While working outside of usual work hours stands as a topic of debate today, some people (our team included) find it helpful to look over emails the night before. We find that this not only helps to ease our minds the evening before returning to work, but it also helps to improve our productivity the first day back.
Find the strategy that works best for you and stick to it with intention.
Plan Your Morning
If your mornings have started off slow and relaxed the past week or two, a morning rush can start your first day back to work on a completely wrong foot. To make your mornings as seamless and rush-free as possible, put your items together and pack it into a go bag. Lay out the clothes you plan to wear and prepare your lunch as well as any snacks.
Also, don’t forget whatever work that you may have brought home with you. Preparing the night before will ensure that your morning runs smoothly while also improving your performance after the holidays.
Get a Good Night Sleep
We should all know by now that a good night’s sleep sets you up for a positive morning and carries you through the day. On the other hand, sleep deprivation can have negative effects on your next day productivity as well as your physical health.
Turn off any screens in good time, use relaxation strategies that work for you, and go to bed early to ensure you’ll wake up feeling rested and ready.
Set Intentional Goals
On your return to work after the holidays, it’s especially important to set goals and hold yourself accountable for reaching them.
The type of goals you set will entirely depend on your work and your position, regardless, keep them achievable so you can reward yourself with a sense of accomplishment. Write the most important things down and cross them off as you get them finished.
Likely, you will be busy your first day back to work, but when the temptation to work through lunch presents itself, try to resist it. Moreover, regularly eating your lunch at your desk has been shown to do more harm than good, see more here.
A drop in your cognitive stamina will far outweigh any benefit of you trying to save a small amount of time. When you take breaks throughout the day, ensure that you fill up on healthy snacks to provide your brain with the energy it needs. To stay focused and productive, opt for foods that will keep your body and brain running steadily without energy spikes and slumps.
Plan Your Breaks
Human brains simply cannot focus effectively for long periods of time without a break. We find that scheduling 5 minute breaks after each 25 minute work session provides sufficient space for your brain to relax and further regroup.
Drink Your Water
Your brain also needs enough water to work at its best. Bring a water bottle with you to work and keep it in a visible spot in your workspace to remind yourself to drink regularly throughout the day.
Connect With Your Peers!
Assuming that you like the people you work with as much as we do, the first day back can be a lot of fun. You haven’t seen your colleagues for some time, and it’s nice to catch up on the stories of holiday celebrations. Remember to be respectful of everyone’s time and plan to reconnect with people during breaks!
Your first few days back to the office after the holidays don’t have to be a drag.
In fact, they can be a little less chaotic and more productive if you use these tips to plan ahead and follow through. By the time your first week back comes to an end, you’ll almost certainly feel back in the groove and routine of work.
How do you prepare for returning to work after a holiday? Drop it in the comments below!
We Need Your Vote!
Earlier this month, we shared that our MCDA CCG, Inc. is named by the Orange County Business Journal as a 2021 Companies That Care Honoree for Employer of the Year. In a time of severe staffing shortages driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation, we are extremely honored to be recognized. If you have 10 seconds to spare, we ask that you please click the survey link and cast in your vote for MCDA CCG as Employer of the Year.
Survey link: Excellence In Placentia 2022
Follow us on Instagram to see who wins! @mcdaccginc