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Post-holiday Blues, How to be Motivated at Work

Dec 28, 2022
Post-holiday Blues, How to be Motivated at Work

The festive season - regardless of how you do or don’t celebrate it, can be a great time to rest, unwind, relax - or perhaps cure a hangover…

But before you know it, January is around the corner and it’s already time to go back to work. No matter how much you love your job - getting back into the swing of a routine and putting your “work brain” on can take a bit of warming up.

Here are our top 10 tips to ignite your motivation and get you out of the post-holiday slump…
1. Focus on your discipline, and the motivation will come

Motivation is something that can feel fleeting - some days you wake up with a spring in your step, others you want to stay under the covers and watch Netflix all day. If you shift your focus from motivation and instead work on your discipline, then you’ll create better habits at work and in your personal life in the new year.

For example, creating a disciplined morning routine can help you get out of the “funk” when you’re feeling demotivated - so design a morning routine that is manageable and gets you in a good headspace first thing in the morning. What was, or what wasn’t working in your old morning routine in 2022? Look at what you can change. Or, if you know you have a tried and tested morning routine that works, reignite that once more!

2. Set your boundaries for January

Regardless of what your role or industry is - we all experience the same rush in January. Projects need to be started (or resumed if they carried over from Christmas), everybody wants to catch up, and before you know it - you’ve already compromised your boundaries and been pulled from pillar to post. 

Instead, you should be even more stringent with your boundaries in January. The truth is, a lot of things can wait - people are just impatient. Focus on what is going to generate the best returns, tackle the hardest tasks first, and don’t feel bad for this, either.

3. Make a list (virtual or physical)

There’s nothing like good old-fashioned organisation - and you can’t go wrong with a list. Whether it’s a virtual list on your laptop, phone, or tablet - or a physical list if you like to keep it old school (like we do) - it enables you to put your thoughts to paper and do a brain dump of what you need to do. 

Categorise it into tiers: what is immediately important, what has mid-range urgency, and what can wait until potentially the following week?

4. Eat the elephant (not literally)

There’s no doubt that you’re going to have big projects that feel like a mountain to climb - but instead of getting overwhelmed, or pushing it to the back burner, tackle it as you would tackle eating an elephant (metaphorically of course) - one bite at a time. With your bigger projects, section them out into smaller, manageable chunks. This sounds inherently obvious - but you’d be surprised how many people feel overwhelmed after the Christmas period and forget to manage their workload effectively. 

5. Finish on time

The worst thing you can do when you return in the new year is burn yourself out. Finish on time - working yourself into the ground isn’t beneficial for anybody.

6. Remind yourself of your 2023 goals

If you’re struggling to motivate yourself in your personal life as well as your professional, it’s time to remind yourself of your 2023 goals and why you chose them. Display them visually - at your desk, in your room, on your wall, and work towards them.

7. Spend time reigniting your relationships (especially as a manager)

As a leader, you haven’t seen or spoken to your team in probably around two weeks - so prioritise catching up with your team and fostering those relationships as soon as 2023 comes around. The holiday period can be difficult for a lot of people, and it can also be a big point of reflection. Not everybody is going to come back refreshed and feeling “ready” to tackle their workload; recognise this and give your time and presence to your team. 

8. Don’t forget to schedule in some joy…

If you’ve forgotten how to, look at our blog here. [please hyperlink to the joy article I had previously written]

9. Remember, everybody is in the same boat

If you’re feeling demotivated, we can guarantee multiple colleagues of yours also feel the same. It’s the equivalent of when you come back from any annual leave - you feel a bit rusty, a bit flat, and it takes some time to get back into a routine again!

10. If it won’t matter in 5 years, don’t spend longer than 5 minutes worrying about it

Sitting and worrying about your workload, your projects, or your goals isn’t productive: you’ll run rings around yourself in your mind, and that’s exhausting. Instead, try to avoid sweating the small stuff and instead focus on creating a great routine for yourself!

download our handbook for mental health at work

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