8 actually useful things to do before you go back to work 

‘Tis the season for some seriously overdue life admin…

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Clear out your childhood bedroom

Wiling away the long days between Christmas and New Year at your parent’s house? If you’ve moved out, but your childhood bedroom is still stuffed full of your once-prized possessions, now is the perfect time for a spot of spring cleaning.

This stuff didn’t make the cut when you packed up and left home so chances are it’s not important any more. Sure, keep the sentimental stuff, but the dodgy dress you wore to your Fresher’s Ball, that drawer full of half-used toiletries and Boyzone’s greatest hits on minidisc? The time has come to say goodbye…

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Declutter your inbox

I can’t be the only person with 23,678 un-read emails in my inbox. And no, I’m not showing off about how popular I am. I am plagued by e-marketing. I hand out my email address to whoever asks and now I’m drowning in promotional prattle.

Turn off that How I Met Your Mother re-run and put down that pork pie, if you scroll down to the bottom of a chunk of mail and hit ‘unsubscribe’, you’ll feel lighter in minutes…

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Create outfits

Ever find yourself with LITERALLY nothing to wear? We’ve all been there – and I think the issue lies within our wardrobes. I grab my outfits each day from a small selection of current favourites, which rarely make it back to the wardrobe after each wash.

But now it’s not 6am on a dreary Monday and we’ve got some time on our hands. Delve around and design yourself some new outfits for 2016 with clothes you’ve already got but have probably forgotten about. I bet you’ll be surprised by what you find…

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Start a photo album

Facebook, Instagram and co. They are all well and good for saving, collating and sharing our snaps with the world, but sometimes it’s nice to have the real, shiny 6x4s in our hands.

Go through your phone/camera/especially attractive tagged photos and print off a selection of your best, funniest moments from 2015. Then get sticking into a scrap book or slotting into a fancy album.

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Organise your finances

Christmas takes its toll on our purses and it can be easy to bury our heads in the sand/ the nearby box of Quality Street. But stop worrying and find a few minutes to take stock of the situation. Look through your statements and work out where you’re potentially over-spending, find out when your interest-free credit card deal runs out, outline a budget if you need to. Start 2016 in a good, stress-free place.

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Update your CV

New Year = new start. If you’re dreading getting back to the office and reckon it’s time you did more than just moan about it, your CV is the best place to start. Before you start typing ‘amazing well-paid part-time jobs’ into the internet, reflect on what you’ve learnt in your current role and polish that curriculum vitae.

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Reconnect with people 

Sure you can spend the next few days blearily blinking at the telly screen. Or you could go for a drink with that old school friend who is also home for the holidays? If dragging yourself away from the sofa is too much effort, why not message the mate you’d love to see more of or write your nan an old-fashioned thank you card.

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Make a list

Yeah, just like Santa. Make yourself a list for the New Year of all the stuff you can’t get done this week – registering for a doctor, going into the bank, organising a meeting with your boss, you know the stuff I’m talking about – and blitz it on your first day back at work. You’ll feel super productive and January won’t feel as dreary and depressing.

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One thought

  1. If you use a Gmail address, you can do a nifty trick to skim off most promotional dross before it hits your inbox: address aliasing.

    1. Sign up to newsletters etc with something like yourname+wordofyourchoicegoeshere@gmail.com. You can use whichever word or phrase you want, so I often use the name of the newsletter.
    2. The emails will still get to your account (yourname@gmail.com), but you can filter anything sent to “yourname+wordofyourchoice” into a junk folder.
    3. You can then work out which website has given your email address to spammers, while your plain yourname@gmail.com account stays marketing free.

    Sounds fiddly, actually really easy. Works well for me.



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