9 Low effort ways to kickstart your new working year

Getting back to work in the New Year can be a challenge for even the most diligent of over-achievers.

Cheese happened.

Box-sets happened. (I just discovered Grey’s Anatomy and already need an intervention)

More cheese happened.

Days merged into one.


When it comes to getting back to work, you are not alone if you have a head full of cotton balls, have forgotten every password you ever had and are wondering if a quick nap at 11am is permitted.

Fear not, though. The Olark team has had a whip round and come up with a range of ways to kickstart the New Working Year regardless of your job title or cheese status.

1. Coffee

Coffee. Coffee.

2. Orientate yourself

Take some time to get yourself organized — whether an hour, a morning, or a day. Think about your goals and make sure that you’re working on your real priorities and not just jumping back into a to-do list.

If you work remotely, establish a routine: sleep hygiene before bed, coffee ritual in the morning. Oh, and change out of your pyjamas. Regulate your day, but give yourself permission to not be totally back on track yet.

If you've been traveling, make time to do the non-work things that help you feel settled in again, like unpacking all your bags, doing laundry, and shopping for groceries. Don't try to push through a week of work eating cereal and wearing your least-favorite pair of underwear!



3. Load up some playlists

Get a bit of music going. It’s good for the brain, good for your energy and a fantastic antidote to all those festive tunes.

I love the Stress Buster playlist from Spotify as a background to writing.

Sarah Betts goes for 80’s hair bands all the way.

Kate recommends pulling out the vintage Brad Paisley and reminding yourself that you’re So Much Cooler Online.

The Olark team even put together our own playlist of favourite 2017 tunes, just for you.


4. Change one thing

It’s that week of the year when we hear about resolutions ad nauseum. There is a real risk that setting too many goals will prove not only exhausting, but frustrating. A few of us are trying to only change one thing.

[rhoda] I am going to eat cereal when I get up instead of mainlining coffee and then jittering on an empty stomach til lunch

[betts] I’ve started having an egg poached in broth in the morning. Good brain food. And one more thing (ha!) — I’m going to force myself to stand up once per hour to stretch.

[kate] I’m going to stop aimlessly paging through Facebook in bed, and start actually reading this dusty novel on my bedside table.



5. Cut yourself some slack.

Remember you are allowed to:

  1. Make mistakes
  2. Rest when required
  3. Finish that leftover cheese

You have a whole year to get through. Pace yourself and remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. (Yes, I did just write that. I apologise unreservedly). TL;DR: Just. Slow. Down.



6. Gifs. Embrace the gifs.

Life is better when you can laugh. Here are a few of our favourite gifs.


7. Reduce clutter

Clutter — both literal and psychological — can make it hard to think. Try these tips to de-clutter your world:

  • Close a few slack channels
  • Clean your desk
  • Do a brain dump into a notebook
  • Consider starting a bullet journal
  • Switch off social media notifications (a challenge, we know!)


8. Celebrate small wins

Setting small goals for the day and week will give you something to work towards. Meeting those goals gives you a boost to accomplish the next.


9. Obviously, you also need to consider using Olark to chat with your customers, but that goes without saying, we would hope ;-)


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Rhoda Meek

Read more posts by Rhoda Meek

Rhoda Meek is Director of Customer Service, aka Customer Service Warrior, at Olark. Rhoda lives in Tiree, Scotland, and when she's not helping customers, you can find her fishing and growing vegetables in her backyard.