New year, new set of challenges! You've probably been back at work long enough now for the holiday amnesia to have worn off and the excitement / stress / sheer panic of the new year to set in.
Unfortunately most of us can't avoid the need to put proper big girls' and boys' clothes on and head off to work to make a living.
And whether you're employed, self-employed or gig-employed, there are usually bills to be paid and targets to be met.
All those things you put off around 21 December are still there on your to-do list and the boss is probably looking at you expectantly and asking "when?".
Here are some hopefully helpful tips for coping with those back to work blues:
1. Whatever you're feeling right now isn't going to last. Feelings are temporary and they change like the weather. So if you're feeling down, be assured you will feel better soon.
2. Everyone (well most people) finds the first week or two difficult. If you are feeling a bit flat, you are in good company. Most of your work colleagues will also be finding it hard to put shoulder to the wheel too. Particularly when the sun is shining outside.
3. You will re-find your mojo. It might not feel like it just now, but in a day, a week, a month, you will be even better than you were before. Have a little faith in yourself and your own resilience and abilities. There's a really good reason why you do what you do and people do appreciate your efforts.
4. Sometimes good enough is good enough. You might have come back to a real big pile of work to be done. Fact is there just aren't enough hours in a week for you to deliver perfection every time. How about shifting the focus from perfection to excellence. And in some cases "good" will just have to do. That way you'll get most of it done.
5. You are not alone, so take the opportunity for some teamwork. Sir Ed didn't climb Everest alone. He had a team around him. And most likely so do you. Why not take the opportunity to get together and figure out how you can all do each other some favours and work together on that stuff that just needs to get done.
6. Your boss is probably missing the beach too. If the big cheese, the head honcho, the big kahuna seems a bit cranky, a little understanding and support on your part might go a long way.
7. Take the opportunity to eliminate the crap. New year is a great time to take stock and ask questions as what really counts, what really moves the needle around here. Chances are if it doesn't, then dumping it might be a good strategy. Or at the very least delaying it or delegating it if you can.
8. Get really focused. If it does move the needle then get super focussed on that. If nothing else, it will drive some short-term momentum and enthusiasm and productivity.
9. Be kind to yourself and your workmates. If we all looked out for each other, this world would be a much better place wouldn't it? So take a few more seconds each day to check in with each other.
10. Get clear about your Purpose. Another one of those darn P words. But this one is probably the most important one. Get really clear about why your business or brand exists and what is your part in that business. It's a fact that "Purpose-Full" businesses do better and so do their people. "What need are we meeting in society?", "why are we here?", "why am I here?" are all important questions and if you and your colleagues can get clear about that then your job will have more meaning and be more satisfying. It really helps if you're able to chunk your purpose up to the highest level. You might have heard of the example of the man on the building site whose job it was to make bricks for the masons. The bricks were being used to build a cathedral. When asked what he was doing, his answer was "helping to bring people closer to God". So your job might seem menial at times but there is a higher purpose for what you do. If you can connect with that, then it's going to help you get through the challenges of coming back to work.
If you need a little help with getting 2019 under control, give me a call.
All the best for 2019,
At BMSW we help Managers and Marketers create, plan and implement, break-through growth strategies, targeting the most productive market opportunities, using VENNLI™ our unique, strategic, growth-finding platform.