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Returning to the Office - How to Beat the January Blues

The January Blues! 

Finance and Accounting teams returned to offices across the UK last week - and it's no surprise that most employees are feeling the lull. After over-indulging in free time and rich Christmas food, knuckling down and thinking about the year head can be a tough concept. And it doesn't help with the dreary weather and dark mornings during the winter months.

Here we've compiled a list of 6 small actions to help improve your mood - so you feel motivated to build a strong foundation for the year ahead. These aren't your typical New Year's resolutions that take enormous amounts of effort to stay on top of, but rather small tips to help year start the new year feeling refreshed and ready.

  • Clear out the work and say goodbye to 2023

Stop clinging to last year's tasks! Clear out all your inboxes - your separate folders, archives, and even your drafts. Reply to those emails you've been putting off and declutter those spreadsheets and files. Finally, make sure all projects and tasks from the previous year are completed. Organisation is the key to a clear work mindset and is the first step to ensuring you beat the January blues at work.

  • Reorganise your desk

Once you've said goodbye to 2023 by clearing your workload, think about rearranging your desk setup. Beat that post-Christmas slump by making sure you have everything you need to hand and that your space isn't cluttered. Think tidy space, tidy mind! Add plants, personal photos, or accessories that keep you feeling engaged.

  • Set some achievable goals

Block out an hour and use that time to think about your goals for the year ahead. Maybe you want to progress to management level or learn a new skill. Perhaps you want to qualify as a chartered accountant and need to work out the steps to getting there. This is the perfect time to think about your personal development.

  • Talk through your 2024 goals with your line manager

Take some time out in the first few weeks of January to sit down with your line manager and discuss personal and professional plans at work. Now that you know what you want to achieve, talk it through with your manager. Make them, aware of what you're working towards, and they can help you achieve what you set out to achieve. Plan for a time each week or month when you can reflect on the development toward your goal and look to revisit the conversation halfway through the year.

  • Get away from your desk!

Leaving your desk on your lunch break helps to take your mind off of work and focus on something else. You could go for a walk, read a book, or plan to spend lunch with a colleague. Spending your full lunch break away from your desk and disengaging from work means you're feeling recharged for the afternoon and are maximising your free time.

  • Lists

Not everybody is a fan of writing daily lists. Nevertheless, it does help you manage your time and reduce the risk of forgetting something. Even if you don't want to do it every day, you could consider writing a monthly list that sets out everything you want to complete that month. Whether you do it daily, weekly, or monthly, having a list of everything you need to do to achieve the goals you've previously set up will make your mission clear.

January can be a depressing month after the Christmas period indulgence. However, by staying organised, recognising the successes, and creating a positive working environment, you'll soon be back in the swing of things.