back to workAfter the fun and frolic of holidays, it’s never easy to get back into a routine.

You’ve spent countless days waking up late, binge watching your favorite TV shows, and eating at odd hours. You’re enjoying yourself and then you come to an uncomfortable realization: it’s time to go back to work.

As the work year resumes today for most people, here are ten tips to help you smooth your reentry into the daily grind so you can stay relaxed…and get things done.

1.Tidy up your work-space first.
Chances are you’ll be greeted by piles of unopened mail, files, and other office items sitting on your desk. Rather than ignore these items, take a few minutes to process them. Open envelopes, chuck junk mail, file items, and place items in your inbox. The longer you wait, the more likely these items will be sitting around your desk or workstation later in the week.

2. Take it easy.
To help make the transition from holidays to work, pace yourself for the first two days. Return calls, get up to speed with what has happened and ensure you go straight home to rest. Make sure colleagues and clients don’t bombard you, and allow yourself little breaks such as walking around the block or sitting outside to have your lunch in peace.

3. Actively plan for your return.
When planning time away from work, most people focus on getting organized for departure. Avoid undoing all that restoration by treating your return as something that needs to be managed in advance as well.

4. Get motivated.
There are usually a number of options that could help bring about the career improvement you are after. Some will be easier for you to achieve than others, but whatever you choose, you have to genuinely be motivated to do it, otherwise it’s likely to fail. Potential new employers will easily spot if your heart’s not really in it. Be honest with yourself about what really motivates you and then focus on it with everything you have.

5. Make a prioritized list of tasks.
As you review your emails, postal mail, voice messages and the like, you’ll be reminded of all the stuff you were working on before you left for vacation. Instead of working on the first item that crosses your path, make a conscious effort to prioritize your work. What projects were you working on before you left the office? What are the five most important tasks to accomplish your first day back?

6. Do one thing at a time.
You may feel the urge to work on three different things at the same time in order to catch up on work. However, this is not the most efficient approach. You’ll only confuse and stress yourself out! Make a point to focus your mind and to only work on one item or task at a time. You’ve just come back from a nice relaxing vacation; why stress yourself out if you can avoid it?

7. Remember to be positive
Count your blessings and thank your stars for the refreshing break. Don’t think of work as a burden but a time to make a fresh start. Wear brighter colours and pop your favourite holiday picture onto your screen saver.