We all straggled in over the course of the first hour at work, giving each other kisses, hugs, back slaps and congratulating each other on the New Year. We looked relaxed, calm and stress free – until about lunchtime. It is amazing, I have completed one day at work and already it feels like my week and a bit off is a distant memory. I am fully back into the work zone, although now I am sat in my study, putting the last Harry Potter into iTunes and listening to Dr Phil, he’s giving me my daily pep talk.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly you slip back into real life from any break. Whether a long weekend, a couple of weeks off or even a month or more, as soon as you sit back down at your desk, switch your computer on, you get sucked into Outlook and the Pavlov Dog reaction of replying to every email the nanosecond it comes in. Then people wonder why they don’t get any work done. Some of my colleagues complain because I haven’t answered their email yet, when I tell them I haven’t even read it, they can get apoplectic. I’ve taken off all alerts, the only thing that will tell me I have an email is the cursor when it changes, and then I have to be looking at it to see it. I check my emails when I get in, at lunchtime and before I go home. Moving them over to my folders and task bar, I then work from my task bar, so I can get work done with minimum interruption. The phone will keep ringing, people will stop by my desk, but I read email when I am reading emails. It focuses my mind, helps me prioritise what I am doing, and because people who are now used to how I work KNOW I will get back to them, it doesn’t matter if it isn’t that day – triaging your work flow and all. They know I will action it.
(You can get that Outlook tip for free, I have more if you want them, drop me a line.)
I nearly always have a to-do list as long as my arm, I am a PA, that is what I do. I juggle plates for a living. This year I am going to make a concerted effort to concentrate every day, give my best every day, work as hard as I can every day. There are some days when you think, ‘Nah, it’s just not happening today’ I want to irradicate them from my life. Not only at work, but also the days where you flump onto the couch and stare at the TV with the remote control in your hand, a few hours go by, you look at the ironing, look at the dust and think, ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. I don’t know about you, I am fed up with going to bed, picking up my gratitude journal and thinking ‘I could have done better today’ and kicking myself. This year will be the making of me, I know that already.
2010 is going to be a big year, there is a sense of optimism in the air, let’s all grasp it, hang on to it and use it. After all, it will soon be Friday, then the weekend will whizz past, and before you know it’ll be Monday again.