People tend to deprioritize work in December because there are so many fun things to do during the holiday season, like decorating your apartment with festive swag, sipping on a cheeky Starbucks holiday drink, or getting ready for the annual office ugly sweater party.
With the holidays upon us, it can be easy to lose focus at work and become less productive. To help you stay on track this holiday season, we asked five business experts for their advice.
1. Develop strategies in advance to ensure you don’t procrastinate when the holidays roll around. With all the festive ideas swirling around in your head, it’s no wonder you’re procrastinating. Jennifer Martin, the founder of Zest Business Consulting, suggests putting a plan into motion now before the holidays roll around! “If you know that the holiday season brings up frustrations of challenging emotions that aren’t helpful for your health or your productivity, then take the time to plan what you can do to change your state of being before the need arises,” Martin counsels. If you want to be productive during the holiday season (or any time of year), you have to delegate, give yourself breaks, and use a planner. Find what works for you and stick with it!
2. Keep your holiday plans in order. Even though we have to work during the holiday season, it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to shop for presents, decorate our apartment and find a cost-saving turkey recipe. Vanessa Kromer, a female entrepreneur success expert, and life coach has a great tip for keeping you calm at work: keep an organized and detailed list of gifts you need to buy (at home). This way, when you’re at work, the only thing on your mind will be business.
3. This holiday season, stay organized by making lists of your best friend. “Writing out your work priorities, whatever they are, but preferably in order of importance,” as Heather Monahan herself puts it. Following this routine will help you manage your time more efficiently and keep calm when deadlines start to approach.
4. Calming background music can help you focus. “If you work in an open floor plan and find there’s too much noise that is distracting you from getting your work done, put on your headphones, put on a Spotify holiday playlist, and focus on what needs to be accomplished,” recommends CEO of MyCorporation.com Deborah Sweeney. Christmas songs have the amazing ability to drown out any and all annoying noises made by coworkers– sign us up!
5. Outstanding tasks can easily be completed while everyone’s taking a well-deserved vacation. Many people take holidays off from work, which gives those of us who continue to clock in some extra perks (even if we do have to suppress our jealousy). “With many people out of the office between Thanksgiving and the new year, including your boss, you have fewer distractions and fewer issues randomizing you. Use that time to take care of all those outstanding tasks that have fallen by the wayside throughout the year,” Chief of Staff Expert’s founder says, Tyler Parris. Until you can take your own vacation, keep your mind focused by having a clear task list and limiting office distractions.