Cutting the chaos out of Christmas and Hanukkah each year is easier said than done. Who would have guessed that the season that’s often touted as “the most wonderful time of the year”, is more often the most stressful. Between all of the gift-buying, parties and traveling, work seems to take last place in this mess of a month, and personal stress has a way of affecting your performance at work. But finishing out the year strong and planning for the year ahead are both important, so is it possible to make it through the holidays and stay productive at work when you have so many other things on your mind?
As difficult as it may seem, it is possible to not let the holidays get in the way of your productivity at work this season. To help ease the hectic holiday season stress, we have come up with 3 tricks that will help you make it through the holidays and stand out at work without losing any steam.
If you tend to procrastinate during the holiday season, chances are that is only adding to the stress of an already busy season. Before the holidays begin (and I don’t mean a week before Christmas), take an hour out of your day and plan for the next few weeks. In the same way that you make specific to-do lists for holiday shopping, putting up decorations, planning dinners/grocery lists, and help with the kids while they’re out of school, you should also make a to-do list for what you need to accomplish or get in order before the end of the year at work.
Think about the things that you don’t want on your to-do list at the start of 2015 and focus on checking those off. This is also a great time to start thinking about what you want to accomplish in 2015, and begin making list of goals and brainstorming how to reach them. When you plan ahead both at home and at work, you’ll be much more productive, not to mention less stressed.
Make it Through the Holidays with Vacation Days
Take all those vacation days you haven’t used (we know you’ve got them), and take a day or two off before things get really busy in the office. Taking time off when you’ve got so much to do might seem counterintuitive, but by taking a day off, you can get some of your personal holiday to-dos out of the way. Take a day off and spend the whole day getting all of your Christmas shopping done. You’ll feel less distracted and more productive when you get back to the office.
We love to praise multi-taskers, but when your to-do list is a mile long, trying to accomplish everything at once means that nothing really gets fully done. No matter how great you think you are at multitasking, it is proven to reduce focus and productivity, so the holiday shopping online can wait. Try instead to only focus on one project at a time. Putting your energy toward multiple projects at once will result in mental pandemonium, so make a schedule to block certain periods of the day for certain projects, and tune out distractions that arise and tempt you to start working on something else.
What are your tricks for balancing work and personal schedules to make it through the holidays? Tweet us at @trackvia or comment below and weigh in.