productive year

How To Have A Kick-Ass Productive Start Of The Year

The holiday season is now officially over.

Hope you had a great time and you got to relax, enjoy some quality time with family and friends and recharge your batteries for what is coming next. This year is going to be the greatest one yet!

The time immediately following the winter holiday season poses a unique challenge every year. You are pumped up to start fresh and make every part of your New Year resolution happen. At the same time, because you took some time off, there is some catching up that needs to be done.

Do you dive right into your newly minted goals for the new year, or do you first take care of the pile up from the winter downtime? How can you handle all the workload that is coming your way in a productive manner? Let’s answer these questions so you can hit the ground running:

Slow and Steady Wins The Race

productive quote

It is an overused phrase, but it is so true, especially at this time of the year.

When you wake up in the morning, you don’t just jump out of bed and immediately start working. It takes some time to fully wake up your mind and your body. The same is true after the holidays, it takes some time to get things back in motion.

You’ve been off work for at least a couple of days. Even if you wanted to work at 100% during the holidays, the rest of the world did not, so chances are, you experienced at least a little downtime over the last week or so. Now that things are getting back to normal, it is important to ease into them.

We don’t like change. We are creatures of habit. If you introduce too much change into your life too quickly, you are just going to overwhelm yourself as your system will put up a big wall to resist this new way of doing things.

Start slow.

Don’t expect the first day of work to be 100% productive. Do 50% of what you normally do. Use the other 50% to do admin stuff such as replying to emails. Give yourself time to get adjusted back to productivity.

Build up.

Every day, add more to your plate. You started with 50% the first day. Do 60%, or even, 70% the day after and keep upping your productive work until you get back to what is normal for you.

Schedule Time To Catch Up

The first week after the holidays is not going to be a normally productive week. You will probably have more emails to reply to and more things to catch up to than usual.

Designate a time slot in the first few days just for catching up and getting back to speed. During that block time:

  • Reply to all older emails
  • Reply to all holidays wishes
  • Return all calls that accumulated during the holidays
  • Reply to all social media messages (personal and business)
  • Clean up your desk and computer (especially if  you have not used them in a while)
  • Update the software(s) you use. A lot of updates and new versions come out towards the end of the year
  • Water your plants (it is surprising how much we disregard the water needs of our flora during the holidays)

Plan In Advance

Plan your days in advance. Plan what you need to do and when you need to do it. Stick to your plan.

Decide on two MMTs (most meaningful tasks) for each day. These are 2 things  that you need to accomplish no matter what. Do those 2 productive activities first thing in the morning when you sit down on your desk or computer. Before you open your emails and get sucked into other people’s agendas. Before you catch up with whatever needs catching up. Do your important, meaningful, high impact work first.

This is a guaranteed way to make sure you get closer to your short and long-term goals.

It is important to do those MMTs before anything else because as you catch up with emails and phone calls, more tasks will be added to your to-do list. You reply to one email, 3 might come back. You are back to work, and so is everyone else. Everyone is trying to catch up and clear their plate to make place for the new goals. The minute you open yourself to the outside world, things are going to start flying in, but you won’t mind. You’ve already done the important work for the day.

Stay Realistic

It will take some time to get things back to normal.

Expect it.

Plan for it.

You might be overwhelmed with excitement to start the new year and make all the changes and achieve all the goals in a matter of days. That is admirable and I hope you keep the energy up for the whole year, but stay grounded. Things are only going to change if you put in the work and be strategic about your approach.

Don’t expect miracles just because it is a new year. What required work last year, still requires work this year.

Over To You Now

Treat the time immediately following the holidays as waking up from deep sleep. Take your time to adjust and completely wake yourself and your business up. Start slow, but make sure you gradually build your work load and productivity up. Plan your days in advance. Do your 2 most meaningful task before you do anything else. Block of some time to catch up with anything that has accumulated during the holidays. Above all, stay realistic.

What are some of the things that you do to help you get back on track after the holidays or a long vacation? Share in the comment section below…