Whether you’re a resolution-maker or not, there’s something very appealing about the blank page that is the beginning of a new calendar year. It’s always fresh, with no mistakes and endless possibilities.

We all want to start the year off in the right way, but sometimes everything seems like such a huge task, leaving us feeling like we don’t know where to start. However, so often it’s the little things that make the biggest difference to our lives.

In this blog, I want to share with you some really simple activities that you can complete today that will make you feel calm and in control as you take the new year by storm!

1. Make sure you are work ready

Whether you work from home or go to a place of work, make sure that everything you need for your working day to start is ready to hand or in one place. There’s nothing more annoying than running around the house in the morning in a frenzy looking for your laptop charger before you dash out of the door, or wasting the first precious 45 minutes of your working day trying to move all the junk that got dumped on your home desk over the festive period. If you get it sorted beforehand, it will make all the difference and your primary focus can be on work. So, pack your bag and clear your desk so that you are ready to shine!

2. Plan your outfits for the week

This is an oldie but a goodie. If you’re anything like me, you can waste far too much time in the morning wondering what to wear, and it’s an incredibly frustrating way to start your day! Take some time at the beginning of the week to look ahead as to what you’ve got on each day and earmark your outfits. Not only does this save you precious time in the mornings, but it is also less stressful, and ensures that you can give the pieces a quick once-over in advance. This allows you time to make any minor repairs (loose buttons etc.) or wash and refresh if necessary, avoiding disappointment on the day. You’ll feel so much more confident in an outfit that you’ve planned ahead rather than just thrown on because it was the only thing clean and ironed.

3. Give your calendar the once over

Have a look at what engagements (work and personal) you’ve got on this week and have a rough game plan in your head. If you’ve got a meeting in 2 days’ time that you need to do half a day’s worth of prep for, then it’s a good idea to book that time out now before you get caught short – or before someone beats you to it and starts sticking meetings in your calendar willy-nilly.

Checking your calendar can be tricky, however, as once you’ve opened the “Pandora’s box” that is your calendar/email, it’s very easy to get sucked into the nitty gritty. While some people swear by clearing all the non-essential email traffic from their inbox before they go back to work, I also know other people who say that just opening their email before they go back gives them serious anxiety, so I’m not going to give you a steer one way or the other on that one. Personally, I’ll go through very quickly and bin anything that’s not essential, but it really is down to individual choice.

4. Plan your meals for the week

Again, this is another classic. One of my least favourite questions to be asked after a long and busy working day is “what’s for tea?”, so for years I have planned my meals for the week ahead each weekend, which then allows me to buy exactly what I need (no wastage here!), and occasionally (although not as often as I should) enables me to make a meal ahead and freeze it ready. It saves you time, money, stress and also helps you to stick to whatever healthy eating regime that you’ve doubtless committed to for the new year!

5. Schedule some “me” time

I cannot stress how important this one is. For years I have tried to convince myself that as long as everyone else in the house is sorted, I’ll be fine, and that I don’t mind not having time to myself. What a load of old hogwash. Downtime is so important and actually helps you to be more productive in the long run – even though it can feel counter-intuitive at the time. Whether you’re a reader, walker, crafter, baker, gym bunny or bather, or whether listening to podcasts or learning a new instrument is your thing, make sure you look ahead at your week and decide exactly when you’re going to schedule it in. If you find more time to do it on top of that – great! But, as a bare minimum, you’ll have that time to top-up your cup, and that is so important.

I hope you’ve found these suggestions useful! There’s nothing revolutionary in any of this, just a couple of nudges in the right direction to help make your first working week back a little easier. Life is chaotic enough, so any win’s a win, right?

Now, where is my laptop charger…?

Thank you so much for reading. If you’ve found these tips useful then please follow me on social media to find out more about how a VA can enhance your business life and pick up some great time-saving business tips along the way. If you have any specific questions, I would love to hear from you. You can book a free discovery call with me via my website. I can’t wait to hear about your amazing business plans and how I can help you achieve them.

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