With the holiday season now upon us (how did that happen!) its time to stay focused as we push through the next 3 weeks before many of us pack up and take a couple of weeks to be with family and friends.
At home you have a to do list longer than the A4 page your writing on, you look in the diary and wonder how and when you are ever going to get through everything; completing tasks & work prior to end of year, shopping, preparing a home for guests or maybe packing to go away, taking kids to end of year concerts, last day school activities, Christmas parties and for me I need to throw in a couple of birthdays too. Phew! It’s all happening but how do I stay on top of all that and ensure that all work is completed too? Here are my top tips to staying productive during the festive season.
1.DETERMINE NOW YOUR HOLIDAY PERIOD
Plan, plan, plan! Look at the next 4 weeks and schedule in your diary days you are ‘taking off’ over Christmas / New Year. Schedule a couple of personal days in there to finish the shopping (or better yet – jump online) and tackle the personal to-do-list. You will feel so much better knowing that you have time aside for this and will help you to stay focused at work.
2.MAKE A LIST AND CHECK IT TWICE
Make a list of everything! Getting in down on paper will help organise your brain and relieve stress.
Shopping list for presents with ideas so when you’re at the shops you are focused not aimlessly walking around.
Goals, now is the time to get these down on paper. Start with yearly and then quarter one goals. If they feel overwhelming, then break them down into smaller task based / activity goals ensuring they still relate to the overall big picture.
Key tasks that need completing – mark these in the diary with deadlines but have them on a list you can easily see and cross off when complete.
Try not to multi-task (I am a sucker for doing this) but really it can be such a distraction and its not always productive. Focus on one task, complete and then move on. You will feel more grounded and it will take away the feeling of overwhelm and make it more manageable. The feeling of achievement at the end of the day when everything on the list is crossed off because you took it one job at a time is well worth it.
4.GIVE YOURSELF ‘OFFLINE’ TIME
Turn off, give yourself some time away from all of the chaos. No work, no planning, no shopping – go outside with your kids, go for a walk or read a book but do something that is for you. We are connected to our businesses now through our phones and internet so take a break. You will feel reenergized when you step back into the office to work.
This one is the most important, I believe. Take the time to celebrate the year 2017 and its big wins, small wins, reflect on the losses and look forward to an even better 2018.
Celebrating will give you the motivation to kick start your 2018. Think back on your accomplishments in 2017; What are you most proud of? What did you achieve? How did you grow professionally?
I have just set my goals for 2018 and already I’m excited for February. Why February? Well January for me is a slower work month by taking my office on the road for a few weeks checking inboxes and managing things while my kids enjoy some time at the beach.
So how do you stay productive during the festive season?