Scheduling may be our area of expertise, but even the eSchedule team has some difficulty fitting everything in over the busy holiday season. These seven tips have been keeping us productive this month (not to mention sane) and we hope they can do the same for you:
1. Plan ahead
The holiday season comes around the same time every year, so there’s really no excuse to let it catch you by surprise. Take a weekend to plan your personal commitments for the month; which events you’re going to attend, your holiday shopping list, and where you can still fit in some time to relax. When your obligations are written down and scheduled before hand, the season becomes a lot less overwhelming.
2. Say no
This is an important productivity tool year round, but it is especially necessary during the holidays. I know the feeling all too well… suddenly you have five different ugly holiday sweater party invitations, that old friend that is in town wants to go for coffee and someone at work wants you to look over the project they’re finishing up. It’s just not possible to do it all, and the sooner you accept that and prioritize your time, the happier you’re going to be. Why not save some of these commitments for January?
3. Remain focused
This is a season of increased distractions, each attempting to steal your attention. It can feel like the mere twinkle of a light is enough to distract you, let alone your coworkers discussing their overconsumption of eggnog at the holiday party, or the thought of your upcoming vacation. Just imagine yourself not being able to take that vacation because your yearend work is incomplete. Remember to commit 100% of your focus to one task, as multi-tasking will reduce your productivity; a reduction that is only amplified during this season.
4. Take some time off
Again, we all know that multi-tasking isn’t efficient or productive, yet many of us continue to accomplish our work in this manner. It is especially tempting during this time of year to get a little online shopping done while listening in on a conference call, or to take a longer lunch so that you can catch up with that friend that’s in town. However, it is still best practice to not overlap these personal obligations with your work commitments. Consider taking a personal day or two, dedicated to accomplishing a good chunk of your life tasks.
5. Take time to reflect
It can be rewarding to take a few minutes and reflect on the milestones you’ve reached over the last year. Hopefully they’re plentiful and can provide you the extra motivational boost you need to finish the year off right (and earn that holiday bonus). And if they’re lacking…well, that should be enough of a wakeup call to pick up your performance before the New Year.
6. Take care of yourself
It can be tough, but don’t sacrifice your exercise routine in favor of alcoholic beverages and sugary treats. This is a lose-lose (though at the time I’m sure it will feel like a win-win) that almost guarantees you will wake up the next day feeling unproductive and with a strange sense of regret. If you properly planned ahead as suggested in tip #1, your workout should already have a timeslot on your schedule. Combine this with an extra bit of sleep and you’ll be feeling your best for that upcoming beach vacation.
7. Get in the spirit!
Let’s wrap it up (pun intended) by adding a good ol’ fashioned dose of holiday spirit to each of these productivity tips. Wear your holiday sweater and jingle bells to the gym if that’s what it takes…anything to keep that smile on your face and spread cheer to those around you. Sure it can be stressful (hopefully significantly less so after reading this list), but that’s no excuse to be a Grinch! After all, the holidays are meant to be a fun, enjoyable time spent with your loved ones, and so far, ours has been just that.
Happy Holidays from eSchedule!