Your morning ritual
Most of us are still working from home nowadays - Instead of spending an additional hour in bed, why not getting up at the usual time and have a slow start – prepare a nice, healthy breakfast, read a few pages of a book, meditate, and a 20 minutes exercise. All these help you gradually transition your mind and body from the relaxing state to the working mode.
You might have a lot of unfinished businesses from last year but before adding them to your to-do list, think about using the Eisenhower Matrix to gain clarity of your workload. The Eisenhower Matrix was invented by Dwight D. Eisenhower, the 34th president of the United States. This matrix helps you prioritise your tasks and makes your to-do list more manageable. Here are the 4 quadrants of the Eisenhower Matrix:
And this is how the matrix looks like:
After adding your tasks to the matrix, you will know which ones of them need your immediate attention and which ones of them can be delegated to someone else and so on.
You might be tempted to tackle all your emails in the first few hours after a long holiday but this is usually counterproductive. Why? Because when you start answering your emails, it’s so easy to get stuck in a small request or scheduling meetings and then you would waste your most productive hours on something tedious. Instead of clearing your inbox, set up three folders: Answer ASAP, Answer Today, Answer This Week and then categorise your emails. This would make your inbox more manageable. You can also use labels instead of folders. I started doing this not long ago and It becomes my morning saver.
Don’t expect to be very productive in the first few days after a long holiday. Be realistic and kind to yourself. You might need an extra break or two during the day and it is totally acceptable. If your work is too demanding and taking extra breaks isn’t allowed, perhaps starting your day an hour earlier and have two extra 30 minutes break during the day is a viable solution?
Finally you have made it through an 8 hours workday. You might have a lot to do but don’t work extra in the evening to catch up! You might be ahead of your schedule if you work extra but at the same time you will use up all the hard-earned energy in just one day.
Nobody likes exposing to strong light directly after waking up, the same theory goes to going back to work after a long holiday, the transition doesn’t have to be brutal.You might not be as efficient as before and it is totally OK. Cut yourself some slack and you will be back to your old productive self in no time.
Image by Klara Kulikova