Beating Post-holiday Project Management Blues

Welcome to 2016. Hope you enjoyed a great holiday season. Back in December last year (sorry had to do it J) I wrote a blog about winding down for the holiday season aimed at curbing work related anxiety during holidays and ease into the new year. Now that we have crossed that bridge, it’s time to focus on what lies ahead. Here are 5 steps to beating post-holiday project management blues.

Managing post holiday project management blues
Credit: Shivmirthyu |

Have a daily task list…and stick to it

An absence of a week can lead to a serious work pileup. After a relaxing break this can get pretty overwhelming. Once you start getting onto the thick of things, there a tendency to get drawn into different directions. There are unattended emails, incomplete tasks, resource plans, meetings, reports…and the list goes on. The key is to prioritize your attention. Make a daily task list for each day of the week based on your priorities and focus on getting through the list the first week. Allot specific time slots in the day for specific tasks and keep some room for adhoc tasks and requests. This technique will give get you back into the work groove and give you a sense of accomplishment by the end of the week.

Rethink your meetings

There is a very high chance everyone around you is feeling overwhelmed the first working week of the week of the New Year. They are all trying to get back into the groove. Setting up long meetings, brainstorms or trainings during this time may not be the best way to go. As an attendee you can choose to accept or decline meetings based on context and importance. If you are calling for a meeting, plan it at a time when people are most productive so that you can get the desired outcomes.

Take stock of tasks and resources

Deadlines don’t care about holidays, they appear right on time. As a project manager, you need to ensure that deadlines slated for the first couple of weeks are going to be met and that you have the resources in place. If you perceive risks, raise the flags right away and communicate to stakeholders and customers.

Ease in…don’t dive in

There are many lines of thought when it comes to approaching post-holiday work. I believe the best way to avoid the blues is to ease in. Plan work for yourself and the team in such a way that you are not loaded from day one of the New Year. Get the backlogs of the way, work on the tactical stuff first and get some easy wins going in the first week. Bring some fun into the team huddles and meetings to keep the blues at bay. Increase the pace and volume gradually by the end of the week to bring things back to normal by the second week.

Effective project management is a combination of people, tools and culture. To create good momentum at the start of the year, organizations need to focus on the people and culture aspects. Have any examples of how you or your company addresses post-holiday blues? Do share with us.

Author:  Nikhil Daddikar, Co-Founder, Celoxis Technologies

Nikhil Daddikar - Co-Founder, Celoxis Technologies

About Celoxis: Celoxis is world’s leading online PPM software, rated among 3 best project management software tools in the world and is deployed by more than 2000+ customers globally, from mid-sized enterprises to Fortune 100 companies, across industry verticals. To know more visit

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