So you just got back from holidays, huh? We know the feeling.

Holidays are the elixir of life. If you know someone who doesn’t appreciate their vacation time, you should seek better company.

The worst part of a holiday, though, is the fact that it will end. Business is back, the bills are piling up and you’d better tie your shoes and hop to it.

What do successful business owners do when they get back to work in a new year? How do you kick the blues and jump start your productivity?

Set fire to your inbox

The worst thing you can do when you get back to business is getting trapped in the abyss of unread emails and messages. Most of this is garbage.

Get brutal on day one by hacking through your inbox like a 1920’s jungle explorer with a machete. Unless it has something to do with a supplier, invoice, client or employee, burn it to the ground and get your ‘unread’ count down to zero.

Do you have a Slack account or social inbox as well? Time to get torching. Rinse and repeat. Just make sure you finish your first day with a completely barren inbox and start day two with a clean slate.

Plan your next vacation

Too soon? Never!

Goals are as important in life as in business. By putting thought into your next holiday now, you give yourself that all-important light at the end of the tunnel. There’s nothing like a well-defined incentive to reignite ambition and drive.

“There is no medicine like hope, no incentive so great, and no tonic so powerful as expectation of something tomorrow” – Orison Swett Marden

So banish any sense of guilt as you Google Sri Lankan safaris on your lunch break – even if your Thailand tan lines are still visible.

Eat that frog

Have you ever heard the saying ‘eat the frog’?

“If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long” – Mark Twain

Essentially the idea is to hold your nose and get through the unpleasant but necessary tasks you have in front of you. These are the big bad and most often important tasks you need to topple in order to get back to business. They are also the tasks that will have the biggest positive impact on your professional life – so they have payoff.

So what’s your frog?

  • Unpaid invoices
  • New sales and marketing plan
  • Compliance and administration backlogs

It could be anything, but I bet you already know what it is. You’re probably putting it off right now, aren’t you? Make sure you eat it during your first couple of days back, though ­– the earlier the better.

Eat your cake too

How did that frog go down? Probably sucked, but hey, now you have the satisfaction of knowing that highly tedious, but important task is done.

Better yet? It’s time for dessert. Now your frog has digested you get to move onto to something you really love about your business. It’s time to stoke the fires of passion that brought you here and focus on an aspect of your business that delights you.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you”- Oprah Winfrey

What is your most favourite and satisfying task? What brings you joy in your business? What made you passionate enough to start a business in the first place?

If you don’t focus on some of these fulfilling aspects of business in the first few days, you’ll miss out on some much needed motivation to get you ignited through the year.

Time to get plotting…

Another great technique to shake off the holiday lethargy is to plot a successful path through the coming months and start thinking forward through the year to snag some wins. It’s time to go for the jugular and plan for some business success!

“Plan your work and work your plan”- Napoleon Hill

Yes, your next vacation is out there too, but we aren’t looking at that yet – we are plotting a course and scheming for advantage while avoiding running aground.

Somewhere inside you is a ruthless and competitive individual who thrives on crushing goals and making gains. If you have your own business this simply has to be true on some level. Wake that beast up.

Get your mojo back by planning business success this year. Try:

  • Making an ambitious sales plan
  • Re-evaluate and bolster your marketing strategy
  • Predict difficult times and plan ahead
  • Identify new opportunities you can pursue
  • Reassess your competitors and probe them for weakness
  • Do something new this year

So go ahead and dust the last grains of sand from your hair and pull up those socks. Another vacation will be here before you know it, but for now – it’s time to crush some goals.