Sometimes the hardest part about the holidays is getting back into the swing of things afterward. Exhaustion sets in and it is difficult to get focused on going back to work. In reality, many small business owners struggle with the sweep into the new year in more ways than forgetting to write 2014 (instead of 2013) on paperwork.
Plus, business owners return to face the piles of paperwork and to-dos that stack up over the holidays!
From sweeping out the tinsel to starting up the business machine again, here are five quick ways to get back on track in 2014:
- To-Do or Not-To-Do: Five (+1) Quick Ways to Get Back on Track in 2014 No question! The fastest way to feel in control after the holiday season is to make out a to-do list and number the items according to priority. Decide whether you are seeking to finish the easiest first or find accomplishment by doing something that has been hanging around forever. Whatever gives you the most motivation to get moving – make those items your priority.
- Ready, Set, Go: Facing long days only gets longer if you have to think about 8 to 10 hour blocks. Manage your time by setting up 30 minute blocks to focus on a particular project or goal. Maybe your goal is to clean out your inbox or respond to 20 new email messages. Either way, the job will seems easier and simplier if the time allotment is cut into organized blocks of effort. Setting smaller time goals will also make the day go by faster – and you will be surprised what has been done at the end of the day.
- Speaking of Organized: This is your year to get whatever throws you off the organization wagon under control. Declutter your desk, put away distractions, or file those extra contracts from 2013 (just last month!), but really look around your work area and think about what keeps you from streamlining your efforts. Perhaps something you use – like the printer – everyday is too far away or you have to pass that chatty co-worker to get to it. Consider other options like investing in a closer printer or going electronic.
- Mulit-tasking Kills: One collegues says, “until my first priority is done, everything else is just a distraction.” This is very true because being tempted to do several things at once is often the downfall of actual productivity. One recent study suggested that multi-tasking might lead to a 40% decrease in productivity and increase in mental blocks. Without doubt, the brain becomes tired more quickly and this does mean more errors. The old addage – “focus on one job until it is done” definately applies.
- Improve the View: In general, people do things they enjoy with more vigor. The same is true with work. Find something to look forward to during the day and work toward that goal. Perhaps your reward is an double iced mocha with whip cream or a short walk in the sunshine (or both). When you have something to look forward tom the goal of getting going again can bring energy to a difficult day.
- Remember (+1): If you have employees or business associates, this task might seem more difficult to achieve, but in fact can be easier by explaining your goals and getting your whole team on board with making decisions and deciding outcomes.
Getting back into the flow of work for 2014 really requires some advanced planning and a positive outlook on the new year. Instead of looking at the things that need to be done, try focusing on the fresh opportunity to make this a better year…attitude is half the battle.