Going back to studying, working, or researching (or a combination of all three if you are a PhD student like me) after the silly season can be hard. You will most likely still be in holiday mode and procrastination will be inevitable. However, there is much to do and having 10 coffee breaks before lunch will unfortunately not help you achieve your goals. So here are my tips for easing into the 2017 working year.
Break down your 2017 goals- Do not overwhelm yourself by thinking of the major tasks that need to be completed in 2017 (such as starting and completing two research studies for me). Instead break down the major tasks, to smaller more manageable tasks. You will not achieve your 2017 goals all at once, but if you tick tasks of slowly you will have a productive year.
Organise your desk/work space- I was forced to clean up my desk on my last day of work before the holidays because our office carpets were being replaced. This allowed me to come to work with a clean, fresh work space. A blank space for the New Year! Take some time to tidy up the clutter and wipe off the dust, you will feel less stressed.
Top up your supplies- The start of the New Year is also a great time to raid the stationery cupboard, or even more fun, let yourself loose in a stationery store. Buy a new pack of highlighters, a new USB, and a new notebook. Go on treat yourself!
Start with an easy task first- Start with an easy tedious task that is on your to-do list, perhaps reading the 1001 emails in your inbox or writing your deadlines in your diary.
Back up your 2016 files- Another easy, tedious task that you can start with is ensuring your file backups are up to date. I hope you would have been backing them up throughout the year (I do mine weekly), but it is best to double check.
Just do it- In the end, you can organise your work space, top up your supplies, and clean out your inbox as much as you like. In the end you just need to rip off that Band-Aid and start the next (non-tedious) task.
I am wishing you all a productive 2017~
It is really difficult to get back into the work mode. Thank you for the advice.