what was the first thing you wanted to do as an adult?

I am a self-professed geek. When I was little, the only reason I wanted to grow up was so I could have money to buy my very own desk and fill it with stationary. I love work, and I am so excited to go back to work tomorrow for day 1 of 2021.

“if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life”

Work to me has never been a chore, as the saying goes “if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life” and I do think it’s true. I know many people will be very much in the thick of Sunday fear right now, so I wanted to share a few things that motivate me to hit the ground running as I officially head back to work after the holidays tomorrow to start the new year. 

Sort out your workspace – whether you are working from your kitchen table at the moment or an office, sort out your workspace. Through away old to-do lists (go digital on those) and start the year fresh of distractions, pieces of paper and anything that will distract you from hitting the ground running. Get a water bottle ready, pens, paper (see I love stationary!!) and set yourself up for success. 

Schedule in a lunch break – every day. Put one hour in your diary every day, block as a meeting and then move if you have to but this is a non-negotiable for me. I am not a slave to the clock, I sometimes work super late into the night, but I can only do this if I set aside time for me during the day to take a walk, eat a proper lunch or even hang out with my dog. 

Travel time – we all, I am sure, used to block out travel time in our diaries to get from meeting to meeting. Now that we are working from home, we tend to squeeze them in back to back. Push back if you can and try and block just 10 minutes between each one to stop, reflect, collect your thoughts, note things you need to action and then be fully in the game for the next one. Try it. 

The 6am club – ha! I usually subscribe to the 5 am club but without the commute for me it’s not necessary this year. Getting up at 6 am (3 hours before my official start time) lets me follow my F’s (read the blog post here) and ensure my focus is 9.00 am on work. If you have been thinking of trying it give it a go. I did a talk on this for my company recently and had so many emails from colleagues who tried and loved it. My podcast episode on it was also the highest-rated (here). Go on, right now, set your alarm for 6.00 am and tell me all the great things you achieve before work.

Aim High from the get-go. What do you want to achieve this year professionally? Spend some time before tomorrow to write this down and then think, every single day, about what you can do to make it happen. You can do anything you set your mind on and visualising really does work and whilst corny, I do advocate reading The Secret by Ronda Byrne. It’s been around for years and I am a massive, massive fan.

Get a mentor – from either within your organisation or outside. I am part of a fantastic mentorship programme (Fast Forward 15) that is still accepting mentees’ applications up until 28 Feb – you can apply here.

Functional nutrition – food fuels your brain, always. Spend some time menu planning and thinking about your food for the week. If you can map it out now, it takes the pressure off during the week. It doesn’t take long and is something I always do.

Well, that’s it, that’s my top tips for Sunday night before heading back into 2121. If you found any tips useful, drop me a line. Wishing you all a super successfully, happy and healthy 20201.