By Raquel Baldelomar
The New Year has come and gone. It’s almost February and many business leaders are already wishing they had another vacation or an extra day off on the horizon. Coming back to work after a long holiday break can be challenging. Those first few days back you may hit the ground running—catching up on emails and the work that was missed—but shortly thereafter, many executives hit a wall. You can call it a post-vacation slump or post-holiday blues, but the result is the same. You will wake up feeling unmotivated and dread going to work. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that can help business leaders overcome that slump, stay productive and re-energize their work routine.
1. Clean out your inbox.
One of the most common reasons executives suffer from the post-holiday blues is because they’re feeling overwhelmed. The first few days back are usually a flurry of activity as you address business matters that need your immediate attention. However, once you are back to the daily grind and staring at the piles of work that you still have to wade through, it’s easy for your motivation to wane. Instead of dragging your feet and walking into the office already defeated, arrive at the office early and spend some time organizing your email account. This process will help you feel lighter, breathe easier and reduce stress.
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There are differing schools of thought on the best way to manage your inbox. Choose the system that works best for you. There is no one right or wrong way. You can organize emails into folders, delete emails past a certain date, archive old messages, or dump everything in a folder and use the search function to find what you need. The job doesn’t have to be completed in one day, either. You can spend 15 to 30 minutes every morning until your inbox is organized and you have a system in place to maintain it. Once your inbox is complete, start organizing computer files.
2. Organize your office.
Facing a cluttered, dusty office everyday would zap just about anyone’s motivation. It’s hard to focus on the job at hand when everywhere you look, you see a mess. Ninety-four percent of workers polled reported feeling more productive in a clean workspace, according to a survey by the Staples Corporation. In addition, 77% of employees said they produce a higher caliber of work in a clean environment.
So when you start dreading the idea of work, do some housekeeping. First, remove any office supplies and files that you don’t use on a regular basis from your desk. A clean and uncluttered work surface will help you focus. Next, organize file cabinets and get rid of materials that you don’t need or haven’t used in months. Then, develop a system for handling incoming paperwork and documents. Finally, wipe down your desk, computer and keyboard. Once that task is complete, it’s amazing how much better you will feel heading into work.
3. Focus on what makes you feel balanced.
Vacations are wonderful because you have time exercise, eat good food, focus on a hobby or enjoy spending time with friends and family. So if you find yourself unable to focus at work, perhaps its time to change your daily routine.
Carve out time to exercise. Whether it’s before work, during lunch or after work, it’s important for your health to engage in physical activity. You don’t have to run a half marathon. Start a workout routine that you can maintain. Your mental well-being is also important. Find time to meditate before work or take a few moments to reset your mind with some relaxation techniques if you start feeling overwhelmed and stressed. One strategy is to take a break, walk around and stretch your legs. When you come back you will be more focused and ready to finish your day.
Eating healthy goes hand-in-hand with a daily exercise routine. Plan out healthy meals to ensure you’re not hitting up fast food restaurants during your lunch hour. Bring healthy snacks to the office, so you aren’t tempted by the candy bowl or vending machine. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.
You may want to go ahead and plan that next vacation as well. Put it on the calendar so you have something to work towards and look forward to. If you have followed these steps, and you still dread going to work everyday, then maybe it’s time to consider a career change. Talk to your boss about altering your role in the company so you can focus on the jobs that you love or start researching new career opportunities. You don’t want to settle for mediocrity. Focus on what you need to be fully engaged while at work.
This article was written by Raquel Baldelomar from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
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