‘Tis the season. Yes, it’s that time of the year once again! The uber festive holiday season that, in the workplace, is quite popular for two things: First, the holiday slowdown — which everyone appreciates — and second, the holiday slump — which every manager doesn’t. Remaining productive during this time of the year proves to be a challenge for employees and managers of all levels, but it is achievable. Yes, productivity, though seemingly elusive during the yuletide season, is still doable. Here are 7 tips to remain productive during the holiday season:
1. Pick and choose.
You or your team might be bombarded by well-meaning invitations to parties, year-end celebrations, Christmas luaus, and appreciation dinners — and as much as you’d like to go to all of them, it probably isn’t the best way to spend the holiday season. Though it’s important to keep your ties with business partners and major clients alive and kicking, it’s not a sin to say no to some events. Check each and every invite you get and weigh things out. Ask yourself if it’s absolutely necessary to go to the event, if it aligns with your holiday productivity regimen, and if going to the event will help you meet one of your year-end goals. If it doesn’t, then a respectful and cordial declination would be the next step.
2. Allot a day for running personal errands (and do it early!).
It’s inevitable — you will have holiday errands to run. You will have family members visiting from Florida and you would need to clean the house, do groceries, cook, and so much more — on top of your gift-shopping and your daily life activities, like doing laundry and yes, that one thing in your life called work. It can get tedious and it would be impossible to do all these while you’re in a meeting or crunching up important numbers and data for your year-end report. So rather than not being able to focus at work, allow a personal day for yourself to do all your holiday needs and get them out of the way. Pro tip: doing your holiday necessities earlier will give you more time to get started on upcoming projects for the year to come at work — so that when you come back after a beautiful holiday, you already have a great headstart at work (which is a great motivator)!
3. Set limits — work in the office, spend time with the family at home.
See, this is a difficult one and we’re all guilty of breaking this rule. We are, after all, living in a tech-savvy world, with all of our IoT devices and high-speed internet connectivities making it quite convenient for us to always be connected to our business partners, colleagues, and bosses. One email becomes one report, which ultimately becomes a two-hour Skype meeting at the comfort of your home. Meanwhile, because you find yourself lacking a bit of some quality time with your loved ones or realizing that you haven’t even shopped gifts for your family yet, you spend your hours in the office buying things online.
By being a bit stricter when it comes to doing work tasks while at work, this will help motivate you to do your personal stuff outside the office walls. You’ll find that you’re more productive in the workplace and that you’ll have more quality time with your loved ones after you clock out of work. It’s a win-win all around minus the distractions.
4. Do a personal daily assessment of your work performance.
This isn’t as daunting as it sounds. It’s basically just a tracker of what your tasks are for the day, what you were able to accomplish, and assessing your productivity levels based on it. You’ll know if you’re a bit slower on certain days. From there, you’ll be able to gauge what factors affected your performance. You’ll also see if you gained a bit of performance traction on certain days, and it can help you see what activities or motivators aided you there.
5. Psych yourself up!
Yes, by simply telling yourself to keep focused on the work at hand will actually help you to stay productive and on track. Yes, of course, the holiday slump is a hard enemy to beat, and yes, you’ve fallen for it so many times it’s seemingly impossible to count by now — but there’s no use in wallowing in it forever.
6. Don’t put things off!
Procrastinating is a sexy concept especially during this time of the year, but don’t give in! The mindset that “you can just do it after the holidays” won’t help you in your productive journey this holiday season. Stick to your deadlines. Take heed of distractions. Keep calm and power through the pull of procrastination.
7. Have the holiday cheer all throughout the season.
This season is notorious for being a highly stressful and chaotic one. This is especially true if you’re not well prepared or if you don’t have the proper mindset. It’s hard to celebrate and be in a cheery mood when you’re stressed out because of a mountain of work and personal life woes. Make the choice to be fully prepared for the holiday season, attacking it from a healthy, productive angle so that you can enjoy it for the joyful season that it truly is. You hold the key to making the holiday a productive and cheerful one for yourself, your colleagues, and your loved ones.