Productivity During the Holiday Season

The holiday season can be a difficult time to stay focused at work. Personal obligations cross over business hours and the longer lists of “to-dos” can make for unproductive days. You complete a little bit here and tackle a little bit there, but nothing gets completed.

Forbes magazine recently published an article offering 14 tips to be more productive during this time of year. Here are just a couple that popped out as important:

Remind yourself to stay focused at work. The trick is to forget about “seasons” and focus on “today.” Is today a holiday? If not, behave as you would in September, Moore says. “Follow that procedure every day you work. On actual holidays or vacation days, forget about work and have fun. It’s that simple.”

Do a self-evaluation. At the end of each day and week in December, review your level of productivity. Did you get done what you intended to? If not, what got in your way? Not being able to say no? Too many distractions? Some of your own feelings and emotions? What could you have done differently? What will you do differently tomorrow? “Be sure to acknowledge what worked and do more of that,” Morgan says.

The article cautions against multi-tasking and over committing yourself, traits we struggle with regardless of the season. But the really interesting part of the article mentioned one of the key career benefits to being productive and focused during the holiday season:

Since everyone is a little less focused, if you are making a strong effort to be productive – you will stand out from those around you.

Resist the urge to shop online during work, share holiday activity recaps at the water cooler and plan meal and grocery lists while at work. When at the office, stay on task and you will shine against a sea of distracted workers.

Need time to complete your holiday tasks during the day? Schedule a day or two off when the kids are at school and your significant other is at work so that you can concentrate on family and holiday preparations. You’ll be more productive at home and at work.

Holidays Are Stressful

There is no doubt that it can be a stressful time trying to manage home and work during the holidays. All Health Care offers a few tips in their recent article Managing Work/Life Stress During the Holidays.  Here are two great tips:

1. Set realistic goals – What can you actually accomplish right now? For instance, if a project depends on reaching clients, can you get through right now? Holiday and vacation schedules can make reaching clients challenging. Focus on getting done what is within your control, and, if you can, put off what you need others to help with.

5. Ask for help – Instead of taking everything on yourself, who can you enlist to help? How about asking your spouse to shop for their side of the family, and you take care of yours? Can your babysitter help a few extra hours a week? With many looking to earn extra cash this holiday season, it is not hard to find an extra set of hands. Maybe your employer can bring in assistance to help manage the stress level at the office?

With a little planning, prioritizing and preparation the holidays should be an enjoyable time of family while still getting everything done at the office. 

The team at Purposeful Woman wish you and yours a happy holiday!