The end of the year is right around the corner, which means that the next few weeks are “crunch time” for many. It’s even more stressful with the knowledge that many people (from clients to employees, and even yourself) travel and take off work during the holidays, which means less time to get everything done!
Don’t panic. Although there may seem like a lot of expectations during the holidays, you shouldn’t let yourself burn out too quickly. Step away from the chaos and be productive during the holidays with these 8 tips:
1. Plan early.
Even if you promise yourself you’ll be working from home or working remotely on or surrounding the holidays, you can still fall behind. Plan the days you’ll be taking off or out of the office early so that you can figure out your own timeline for getting things done.
2. Communicate the schedule.
Communicate your schedule with other coworkers or employees with details on your availability while you may be “out of the office.” Also be sure to communicate any closures or time restraints to your customers so they know when they can expect to hear back from you. Consider including basic details on your availability and the best way to get in touch in an email auto-reply and your voicemail.
3. Create to-do lists and prioritize tasks.
Now that you know your schedule, create your to-do lists. Make sure to prioritize your tasks – there are tasks that are important and urgent as well as tasks that are important but not urgent. Know the difference and prioritize that way! Checking tasks off your list will be satisfying and will help you relax.
4. Don’t multi-task.
Work on one project at a time rather than several at once. You should have created your to-do list in the step above, so go down this list one project at a time until you’ve hit the end of the must-dos. Working on several projects at once may lead to none reaching full completion.
5. Leave your work at work.
No matter how stressed you are, when you leave work for the day, let go of the stress. Use the motivation of getting out of the office and home to friends and family to power through your tasks each day. The time constraints will help you be more productive in your working hours and help to keep you sane.
6. Avoid distractions.
Similar to point 4, focus on one thing at time. Don’t try to do your shopping at lunch or buy gifts online when you have a few free moments – it will only stress you out more by trying to rush. Focus on work when you’re at work and you’ll get much more done. Plus, you will have extra time during the day or your evenings to bake, shop and plan your upcoming travels.
7. Don’t over-commit.
If your plate is so full that you need help, ask for it! Recognizing the need for help early means you can manage the expectations of your clients or enlist the help of others. Odds are someone will be willing to be flexible, and you’ll be off the hook.
8. Remember to take the time to enjoy!
When your tasks are completed and the time has come to officially “switch off,” don’t forget to take the time to enjoy the holidays! Get into the holiday spirit and stop stressing about the little things you may or may not have left to do before the end of the year. Take a few days off to relax and recharge!
While these tips are meant to help you stay focused during the holidays, following them will also help you enjoy the holiday season much more. Take it one day at a time and use our suggestions to stay sane and be jolly!