As I opened the door to our two-storey office building and realised that there would be no one there today, except me and one of my colleagues, my heart sank.

It was the first day back after the New Year and most firms had decided to start work on the following Monday. A whole three days that I imagined everyone else would be lying in the sun with a good book and the last of the Christmas cake.

With a sense of dread, I set to work doing a long list of things I had put off or been too busy to do – some stretching back several months.  However, rather than being a chore the process was strangely invigorating and incredibly productive. And after three days, I feel like I’m ready to start the year on a more organised and positive note than I have done for years.

For example, my great tidy up involved, acting on some of the interesting bits and pieces that I have picked up through reading and attending conferences– adding several marketing and communications thought leaders to my Twitter feed; exploring the advantages/disadvantages of Hootsuite and Buffer for managing our social media sites; and making a list of key PR trends to watch this year.

I’ve worked with my team on our own marketing communications strategy for the year, updated our crisis comms plan, cleaned out my filing cabinet, and taken a good look at what we want to achieve for our key clients in 2017. I’m now ready and eager to get stuck into some paid work and start the year off properly.

Work hard, play hard is a great motto most of the time but there is definitely time in between that is incredibly valuable for staying energetic and enthusiastic– a precious hour or two here or there to explore new things, think creatively about your professional life, and not stress about time. This year, I am aiming to start work earlier, so that I have regular time to do more of it. Wish me luck, making time doesn’t come naturally but after the last week I’m certainly motivated to try.