A lot of people tend to lose focus during the holiday season, as they are burdened with an ever-growing to-do list with less time available to them. This time of the year entails planning for travel, preparing for guests, shopping for gifts, attending children's events and parties, plus a lot more that leads to stress. This has a direct bearing on their work performance resulting in reduced productivity.
Lack of motivation during the holidays is also a major reason for less productivity at work. People become more inclined towards personal life simply out of stress, their never-ending to-do list, or sheer love of the festive season.
A reduction in productivity also occurs when colleagues and managers proceed on vacation during the holidays. Getting things done and maintaining a high productivity level becomes more difficult, especially when decision makers are out of office.
So how can you remain focused and productive in the midst of all the chaos surrounding the holiday season? Here are 6 tips for you to plan a holiday without affecting your work:
If you still have a few pending leaves at the end of the year, you can go shopping for a day or spend quality time with a loved one. This way, you can refresh and recharge yourself during this busy season.
Emphasizing this point, Willie Greer, Founder of The Product Analyst says,
"Keep your work stuff away. If you use your laptop, iPad, or company phone for working, then keep them away during the holidays. Seeing those will constantly remind you of your work and might cause unnecessary, work-related stress. To stop yourself from feeling that it is work season, refrain from using those, or at least from opening any work-related apps while on vacation."
You need to anticipate your schedule the week before Christmas and communicate it early to those you are reporting to, making it clear you won't be working overtime. You can also work out an option of creative scheduling so that you can leave your office earlier than usual.
Willie from The Product Analyst adds,
"Do things ahead of time. Schedule a work-in-progress plan in advance or before the holidays to avoid checking in now and then. Try to accomplish all your deliverables to avoid missing out or failing to pass one because your vacation mode has been switched on. If possible, delegate the task to a subordinate or ask their help for it, so that both of you can enjoy the vacations without thinking of how much work trouble you will have once you are away."
List all your personal and professional tasks digitally or on paper and unclutter your mind. Next, decide which tasks can be dropped or put off till the New Year. This will give you immense psychological relief and will unburden your mind, making your holidays more joyful and fill you with energy to complete your priority tasks.
Responding to this issue, Allan Borch: WFH Employer and Blogger, also the founder of Dotcom Dollar, says,
"Set a SPECIFIC time of the day where you would work. This would help you manage your tasks during the holidays. Nonetheless, make sure to limit it to just an hour. Strictly comply with this arrangement to balance your professional and personal life. Also, develop a checklist of the things you need to accomplish within that one hour. This would give you a better vision of the things you need to do.
Bottom line: Balancing your personal and professional life during holidays can be done through proper time and task management. "
Jeremy Ong, Founder at HUSTLR, shares his experience and says,
"Use online project management tools to check the progress of work while being away from your work. These tools have proved their effectiveness during the pandemic. So, to enjoy your vacation without affecting your work, dedicate an hour or less daily to check that tool, assign the tasks to the employees, reply to their messages and questions. Then you can enjoy the rest of your day without worrying about the work."
Focus on one task at a time. If you are working on many projects simultaneously, seek the help of your supervisor. Also, avoid doing personal and official tasks at the same time.
Responding to this issue, Sara Bernier, Founder of Born for Pets, says,
"I believe in spreading work throughout the holiday break. This includes assigning specific tasks that can be managed during the off hours of the break (i.e., early in the morning or late at night). This can be when you are usually resting in your hotel, making it easier to work without interfering with your holiday itinerary."
Do not lose sight of holidays approaching while you are caught up in work: begin your shopping earlier than you did in the past and start working on your upcoming projects sooner than you normally would. This way, you won't feel hard-pressed for time as you join in the festivities.
Responding to this aspect, Sonya Schwartz, Founder at Her Norm says,
"Shop in advance for all the necessities you need for the coming holiday. Shopping in advance will help you avoid the holiday rush that every late shopper experiences. Finish the previous works. This way, you need to work on the latest tasks you have and can have much time to spend your holiday."
Take some time out to do exercise and watch what you eat and drink. If you are consuming alcoholic beverages and sugary foods more than usual, it will impact your next day's performance in office work-wise.
Adding to this point, James Walsh, CEO at Billions in the Bank, says,
"Being sick at Christmas time is the absolute worst, so do what you can to avoid it! If you wash your hands, stay hydrated, and avoid sick people, you can make it through cold and flu season safe and sound. A hand sanitizer is your best friend. Also, don’t burn the candle at both ends by staying up late and getting up early. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep this season. Remember, stress can zap your immune system and make you more prone to catching those gnarly bugs. Keep the stress down and your spirits up by staying healthy this season. "
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