Going Back To Work
5 Habits That Will Make You Hit The Ground Running Returning To The Office After Covid

After many of us have been working from home for a year, or more, due to Covid-19, going back to work and into the workplace can be overwhelming and something we need to get used to again, as the world is slowly re-opening. But heading back to the office is also a great opportunity for you to implement new work- and productivity habits. 

So if you want to return to your workplace and hit the ground running, then this one’s for you.

Let’s dive in!

5 Habits
Which Will Ease Going Back To Work After Covid

Working from home has changed the working habits of many people, and going back to work after having spent a year or more working from the comfort of your home can be, and is, an overwhelming thought to many professionals. Sure it’ll be great to see the colleagues in person again, instead of on the screen for the endless Teams or Zoom meetings. But heading back to the office will present a new set of “challenges” because you’ve been accustomed to working in your own environment and maybe even at different times of the day if you’ve had kids around the house too.

So, getting back to the office and the “old way” of doing things can be a relief, but it’ll also mean that you’ll have to get used to a lot more clutter getting in the way of your workday. Socializing and chatting with colleagues and unwanted interruptions will get in the way of your productivity. That’s why transitioning back to the office is a great opportunity for you to implement new productivity habits and letting your boss, manager, and coworkers know you’re back and you mean business.

Implement a Workday Kick-Off Routine

Kicking off your workday with intent will set the tone for your entire workday and improve your performance and productivity. That’s why I’ll suggest you implement what I call a workday kick-off routine. Having a routine that will take you through everything you have on your plate for the day gives you a nice overview of what lies ahead, and it’ll help you stay on course and focused on the tasks you have planned.

Starting your day getting the full overview of where your focus lies for the day and letting your co-workers and managers know about your priorities will create a more distraction-free zone for you to increase your output and do quality work.

Besides going through my daily schedule, my workday kick-off routine includes checking my email and social platforms. Then I reach out to people I need to follow up with, and I make sure I have everything I need to make my workday as productive as it can be.

Boost Your Productivity With WIN Sprints

Part of your workday kick-off should include letting your boss, manager, and colleagues know about your daily WIN Sprint(s).

Your What’s Important Now Sprint is your distraction-free zone and your prioritized time to do your most focused work where others can’t book you for meetings. You can have as many WIN Sprints on your calendar as you prefer, and the duration of them can vary. For example, I’ve found 90-minute sprints are great for deep-focused work. Doing longer sessions, I tend to lose my ability to focus, and therefore, the work I do suffers. On the other hand, if you need time to get to the bottom of your emails, then a 15-minute sprint might be sufficient. But don’t waste your best mental bandwidth for small tasks like that. Schedule those later in the day, if possible.

The WIN Sprint concept is very customizable and can be scheduled any time during the day. It’s all up to you, but try to find out when you have the best mental bandwidth to concentrate, it’s usually during the first hours of the day, and make sure to block off your calendar so other people can’t mess with your most productive time of the day and therefore mess with your chance of doing your best work.

Get more inspiration on how to increase your focus and productivity at work and grab the 25-page guide.

Invest In Noise Canceling Headphones

If you’re sitting in an open-office setting, then I highly recommend investing in some good quality noise-canceling headphones. Put them on when you need to focus on doing your best work and don’t need the distractions of colleagues sitting close by. Then fire it up with whatever music or another form of audio to help you focus best. For me, as I’m writing this right now at a coffee shop, I prefer either listening to instrumental classical music or some of the greats from the nineties. I can also put on a soundtrack of people talking in the background when I’m sitting at home. I guess it depends on the mood, kind of work, and setting I’m in.

Try some different things and see what works best for you.

Beneath, I’ve embedded two of my most played playlists when I need to do focused work.

Take Breaks And Re-energize

When we need to get things done, we tend to neglect one thing: to take timeouts to re-energize and regroup before starting on a new task. So, just as you schedule your Workday Kick-Off and your WIN Sprints, try to schedule some breaks throughout your workday as well, even if it’s just a 5 or 10-minute break in between tasks.

Taking time to breathe, meditate, hydrate, or dance around the office will help clear your mind and ability to focus better throughout your day.

Workday Wind-Down

Making it a habit to end your day by clearing your mind of work will positively affect how you show up when you get home. In addition, having a workday wind-down session scheduled before leaving the office is a great way to inventory your daily accomplishments. Your workday wind-down routine should include responding to important emails and getting your tasks for the next day planned. That way, you’ll be able to hit the ground running starting your next workday with full focus on WINning your day.

Final Thoughts on Going Back To Work After Covid

Going back to work after spending the better part of a year will take some getting used to, and your work environment will most likely have changed. This is why I believe it’s a great time to implement, if not all, then at least some of the habits that I’ve presented here: the workday kick-off and scheduling time for your WIN sprints being the most critical ones to start implementing.

If you want help to improve your focus and productivity, then go ahead and schedule a free pre-mentor session down below and let’s work on it together.

In addition, going back to work might present some otherwise unforeseen challenges. To help you make the best transition back, you might find inspiration in these articles I’ve found:

If you want more inspiration like this, then drop your name and best email down below, then I’ll make sure you get my best career and personal leadership tips in your inbox.

Niels Reib - Career Strategist & Mentor

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