The holidays are right around the corner.
And you know what that means:
It’s going to be much harder to focus while you’re at work.
Maybe you can’t stop thinking about the exciting trip you’re going to take to visit beloved family members during the holidays. Perhaps you’re stressed because you still haven’t finished all your holiday shopping.
Whatever your case may be, it all boils down to this:
The holidays are on your mind—and thinking about them can be a major distraction while you’re trying to work.
If you’re concerned that you might not be able to remain as focused and productive during the holidays, then you have no need to worry. We’ve got your back—and today, we’re bringing you seven ways to stay on track during the holiday season.
1: Take advantage of your time off.
Whether it’s holiday season or not, of course it’s always great to have some time off.
But time off during the holiday season feels a lot like a much needed breather after you’ve been trapped at the very bottom of a deep lake.
It’s no surprise—especially since many people often find themselves stressed about their plans for the holidays.
When you’ve got time off from work, take full advantage of it. Don’t forget that time off from work can include taking days off for the holidays or simply going home from work once the day has ended.
If you want some peace of mind during your off hours, only do tasks that are not work-related. Knock out that holiday shopping you need to do. Walk your dog, take a bubble bath, or read your favorite book.
As long as that activity isn’t related to work, you’re good to go.
Being away from your job gives you the chance to wind down and relax. It’s the perfect time to clear your mind of work-related tasks and issues.
During the holiday season, remember this:
Do your work at work.
Don’t work from home during the holiday season. Doing so is a surefire way to huge stressors and your work tasks intermingling with non-work tasks.
Mixing the two together will only bring you stress and confusion that you definitely don’t need. So don’t do this to yourself.
2: Don’t multitask.
While this is generally a great rule when it comes to working, this tip especially rings true during the holidays.
It seems like a good idea at the time: dabbling in multiple tasks at the same time, hoping to get them all finished at the same time.
But it doesn’t usually work.
Of course, for some, it’s hard not to multitask during the holidays. Maybe you’re in a hurry to get all your projects finished before you leave for the holidays. Maybe you just remembered that you forgot to buy something that was on your holiday shopping list.
Maybe you’ve got just as many holiday-related things on your mind as you have work-related things.
At any rate, the more you multitask, the less likely you are to finish anything. Chances are, you’ll be bouncing back and forth from one project to another and you won’t be able to see anything through to the end.
The remedy is simple:
Do one task at a time. Take a deep breath and finish everything little by little. Also, don’t be afraid to ask someone for help if you really need it.
You want to finish everything, so don’t spread yourself thin.
Now, with this said, our next point ties in quite nicely with the above.
3: Don’t give in to distractions.
If you’re working and you’re completely immersed in the task you’re doing, you get a lot done. Additionally, you feel very productive.
But all of a sudden, you’re interrupted by a wayward telephone call or a beep from another tab, alerting you to a new email in your inbox.
You stop to answer that phone call or read that email—and just like that, your mojo is all messed up.
Notifications can be distracting. A buzz or a ring from your phone is all it can take for many people to lose their concentration.
Sometimes, listening to coworkers talking is also distracting.
And finally—non work-related items are distracting.
Fight that urge to go holiday shopping on Amazon while you’re trying to write a blog post. If your phone is buzzing and you know it’s a non work-related matter, ignore it. Answer it later.
Turn off your cell phone if you know it will distract you that badly.
Don’t give in to any sorts of interruptions while you work during the holiday season.
Leave work for the workplace. Do everything else at home.
4: Stick closely to a to-do list.
A tip that is even more vital to success and productivity during the holiday season.
We’ve all got tasks that need to be completed before the holidays.
We’ve all got deadlines, and we all can’t afford to waste time if we want to get things done.
Take the most important end-of-the-year tasks you’ve got and put them at the top of your list. Knock them out first, and then, move on to other tasks of lesser importance.
Keep all of your tasks jotted down somewhere so you don’t have to stress yourself out more by trying to recall what needs to be finished and when. You want to have as few mental burdens as possible since you’re probably stressed enough trying to finish tasks and trying to plan everything perfectly for the holidays.
You’re going to get everything finished. You’re a hard worker. You’ve got this.
As you finish every task, cross it out. Take a look at your progress at the end of the day and give yourself a pat on the back for completing so many major tasks.
Don’t procrastinate and don’t fall away from that to-do list. It’s there to help.
On the subject of completing tasks:
5: Don’t take on too many new projects.
You’ve already got a full plate, right? Especially with all those major end-of-the-year projects you need to finish.
Your to-do list might be longer than a football field.
If that’s the case, then adding new tasks on top of this to-do list is nothing but added stress.
So stop yourself from adding more gigantic tasks to your list. If you know it can wait until next year, then set it aside.
Don’t give yourself any more stress that you do not need.
Don’t be scared to say no to tasks that you know you won’t be able to finish before the holidays.
6: Mind your health.
Working so hard during the holiday season, it’s very easy to neglect your own well-being. It’s easy to say, “I’m not going to eat until I finish writing this article,” or “I can’t reward myself with some exercise until I’ve optimized every single page on this website.”
Don’t do that.
Exercise whenever you can. If you can’t make it to the gym, go for a walk around the block. You can even walk while you’re at work during your lunch break. It doesn’t have to be anything too large or too extreme–as long as you’re out taking a walk, you’re good.
After all, walking clears your mind. And once your mind is clear, you can return to work feeling fresh, rejuvenated, and ready to keep on keeping on.
When it’s time to hit the hay, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. If you really need to, go to bed at an earlier time. The key here is to get more sleep, not less.
Finally, be aware of what you’re putting into your body.
Pack or buy nutritious lunches to bring to work. Heck, bring a banana to work. Bananas are great brain food. Opt for healthier drinks that will also hydrate you better, like water.
If you’re at your best physically, then your performance at work will definitely improve.
7: Stay positive.
It’s a fun time of the year. It’s the holidays!
You’ve probably got a lot to be happy about—so try to get into the holiday spirit.
Show appreciation for your coworkers and your boss, and thank them for all their help.
If you’re able to, listen to some cheerful holiday tunes while you’re working.
If one of your coworkers sets up a celebratory lunch or schedules a party, it’s okay to go and have some fun—as long as doing so won’t distract you from what needs to be finished.
Keep a positive attitude and look forward to the holidays. Trust me—it’ll do you and your coworkers plenty of good.
You don’t have to be stressed while working during the holiday season.
Besides that, there are plenty of great ways to remain focused at work during this time of the year.
Take care of yourself and your health, minimize distractions, and keep a to-do list handy. Don’t overexert yourself and don’t give in to distractions.
Enjoy your time off and use it well.
The holiday season is a tough time to work, but you can power through it. Follow all the steps outlined above and you’ll be finishing tasks like nobody’s business…
…and you can go into your holiday break feeling proud, satisfied, and accomplished with all the hard work you’ve finished.
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