April 21, 2024
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How to Get Back Into a Routine

Mondays can be challenging. As the first day back to work, it requires us to leave behind our relaxing weekends and jump back into the grind. Making matters worse, Mondays require us to reestablish routines that got interrupted by the relative serenity of Shabbos and Sunday. No wonder some studies find Monday to be the second least productive day of the work week, after Friday.

Holiday seasons like chodesh Tishrei present similar challenges. Even with a schedule like this year, with much of Yom Tov occurring on weekends, our workflows and routines were greatly disrupted, assuming we worked at all over the past week and a half.

Since R+R is often associated with a weekend’s gift of “rest and relaxation,” let’s use R+S to connote our “return and success.”

Here are some “R+S” tips to rebuild your routine and start getting things done.

Rest—Make sure to come back rested and recharged. This is not always so easy following holidays or vacations.

Reset your sleep schedule—To that end, if your schedule involves early mornings, start adjusting your sleep pattern a few days before you return to work or your regular routine. Gradually shift your bedtime and wake-up time to match your usual schedule.

Review—Take time to review where you were before leaving and how to quickly get back to that spot.

Rank tasks—Focus on high-priority tasks first. Tackle the most critical and time-sensitive items before addressing less important ones.

Reflect and adjust—After a few days or weeks, take time to reflect on your progress. Adjust your routine and goals as needed to ensure long-term success.

Start right—Eat a healthy breakfast. Exercise. Connect spiritually. Prime your body and mind for the day ahead.

Start Slowly—Don’t expect to jump right back into your regular routine at full speed. Ease into it by starting with a few essential tasks or activities and gradually adding more as you regain your momentum.

Set goals—Goal-setting helps to refocus us and prioritize effectively. It’s not about sitting down and getting to work as much as getting the right work done first.

Schedule—Map out what your day and week should look like and get things scheduled. Then, block out interruptions so that you can start to build momentum.

Small stuff should stay small—The temptation is often to jump in and achieve inbox zero and other forms of desk/task-clearing. Often, these can and should wait until you get moving in other, more important areas.

Stay positive—Maintain a positive attitude. It’s normal to experience some challenges when resuming your routine, but a positive mindset can help you overcome them.


Naphtali Hoff, PsyD, is an executive coach and president of Impactful Coaching and Consulting (ImpactfulCoaching.com). He can be reached at 212.470.6139 or at [email protected].

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