The days of leaving the office early and taking time off during the holiday season are in the past, and the reality of a full work week has settled in by now.  Most of us have been back to work in full force for a couple of weeks, but many struggle in the office with getting motivated in the New Year.  The holidays tend to be a slow period in most businesses, and it isn’t odd to find an office during that time to be quiet and mostly empty.  For those who didn’t take time off, it leaves the season open for completing projects that were pushed aside and a good time for catch-up.

While those several weeks of relaxation are nice, the return to work is difficult to swallow.  It would be great if you could come back feeling excited and energized for the coming year, but most likely you need a little extra push to get fully motivated.  So how do you return to crushing your goals and checking off your to-do list on time like the hard worker that sat in your cubicle just a couple months ago? We got together some great ideas to get you back on track.

Clean Your Space

Working in an organized space helps your productivity at work and declutters your brain.  Make it a habit to clean up your space before leaving for a holiday, vacation, or even weekend; that way when you return you will have an easier time easing back into your workflow.


Decide how important the items on your to-do list are by marking each task in order of priority with an A, B, or C.  Assign each A task with a time slot to complete quickly, and all B tasks on a list to review once the A items have been completed or at the end of your week.  Remove the C items from your list and wait for them to reappear later in the month.

Divide Projects Into Smaller Pieces

Aside from your yearly goals, set quarterly goals and monthly goals. Any other large projects you have should be split into small parts as well.  When you get the opportunity to cross off many items from your to-do list, it keeps you motivated, where a large project lingering on the list is discouraging.

No Multitasking

Many argue that multitasking actually kills your productivity.  Your brain doesn’t have the capability to switch between tasks quickly, so you actually use more time when multitasking.  Instead, begin a project and see it through until completion.

Take Care of Yourself

If you get regular sleep, you become more productive at work.  Those who are tired from lack of sleep will take longer to complete tasks and you risk the chance of the job not getting done to standards.  Also, with winter being the season for seasonal affective disorder (SAD), try to get outside and expose yourself to some sunlight as often as possible, it’ll boost your mood and your focus at work.

There are ways that you can enjoy time off from work without having to pay for it at the end of your break.  How do you avoid disaster when returning from vacation or holidays?  Share your ideas for getting motivated in the New Year in the comments below!