max work timeIt’s 2016 and after all of your various holiday celebrations, vacations and lazy days on the couch binge-watching TV, you’re now back to work. But after all of that hot cocoa and gingerbread, it can be challenging to get back into the swing of things. So, if you’ve been back at work for a few weeks, but visions of sugar plums are still dancing in your head, here are a few tips to get back into the groove at work:

Accentuate the positive.
It may seem counterintuitive, but focus on something fun, inspiring or otherwise positive as the first thing that you do before you start your work day. This will put you in a good mood, spark creativity and thus, amp up your productivity at work. So, go ahead and watch that cat video, listen to a motivational speaker or read some inspirational quotes from somebody that you admire. Your good energy will translate into better work performance (and, as a bonus, your co-workers and clients will enjoy being around you more, too!).

Treat yourself.
Reward yourself for your hard work by using your coffee break, internet surfing break, exercise (or whatever type of treat will motivate you) as a reward for when you get your work, project or task done. This works especially well for those extra-tedious tasks that you just keep putting off.

So, for example, if you’ve been procrastinating on a particular project, set a reward that if you work for 2 solid hours on said project without interruption or you complete it entirely, you can go get that cinnamon dolce latte from Starbucks. You’ll be amazed at how that one project that’s been stumping you for days is suddenly finished at the speed of light if you can’t get your coffee until it’s completed!

Set up a distraction-free zone.
If you’ve got your email and text alerts constantly buzzing, the phone ringing and co-workers stopping by to chat, being able to focus on, let alone finish, your work will be an impossibility. So, set-up a distraction-free zone for at least a few hours a day where you unplug your devices, shut off your alerts, close your door and honker down for a block of focused, uninterrupted work time.

Set up this focused block of time into your schedule every day. It can also work if you set it up during off-peak times of day. For example, if you’re a morning person, consider getting into work early before everyone else. Or, if you’re a night owl, do it later at night, when most everyone else has packed up for the day.

Tie in your distraction-free zone completion with a reward for yourself and you’ll be back into the work groove in no time.

What other tips do you have for getting back into the groove at work? Please share them below.

Thanks to Adam Connell of WP Superstars, Sean O’Mordha of Celtic Publications, and Heidi McCarthy of Customers First! for the inspiration behind some of these ideas.