The winter holidays are a magical time of year. Stores and offices are decorated with snowflakes and wreaths…there are always cookies and sweets to be shared. People are extra nice to each other just for the sake of the season. Family and friends come together to share in the joy of another year. At night, houses are lit up with strings of lights and the world transforms into a wonderland.
But, the holiday season isn’t all fun and reindeer games. There’s still work to be done and the new quarter is just around the corner. So, how do you stay focused at work? In this post, we’ll discuss 5 tips to make work through the holidays a little more productive (and bearable).
1. Plan for the holiday season in advance.
The winter holidays occur at the same time every year. While it can be shocking to see how fast the year has flown by, you really do have plenty of time to prepare. Start building project deadlines with the holidays in mind. Plan around what your team can actually accomplish in the given time period, keeping in mind time off surrounding both the Thanksgiving and winter holidays. Save the “nice-to-have” projects for after the new year.
If you’re going to be out of the office, make sure you have clearly communicated those dates to your colleagues and management team well in advance. Even if your boss is the one that approved the time off, they may forget you aren’t going to be in on Friday and not plan accordingly. And don’t forget to make sure that you’re caught up on work before you head out. This may mean a few late nights, but you’ll enjoy your time off much more knowing you’re not leaving anything unfinished.
2. Focus on a healthy diet.
It can be really tempting to indulge in all of the treats and adult beverages you see at your office Christmas party or at the store, but focusing on a healthy diet is key. Eating a balanced diet, supplemented with plenty of water, is a surefire way to stay focused all year round, and the holidays are no exception.
It’s also flu season and, believe it or not, eggnog and gingerbread snaps don’t really help your body fight off germs. Staying hydrated and eating right, however, will help you stay in tip top shape.
3. Don’t say yes to everything.
There are a lot of parties, dinners, and gatherings this time of year and while it may be tempting to go to every single one, it can add a lot of stress on you and your family.
Before saying yes to an event, make sure you have enough time for the tasks you need to complete, whether that’s wrapping up at work, wrapping presents, or cleaning the house before the in-laws get there. That way, you’ll truly enjoy the events you do go to, giving the hosts your undivided focus. Plus, you won’t be distracted at work trying to get those last minute tasks done to enjoy a night out.
4. Start shopping before the holiday rush.
Still desperately looking for a Hatchimal? Still desperately trying to figure out what a Hatchimal is?
If you’re like millions of Americans, you start shopping on Black Friday and don’t stop till Christmas eve. This holiday rush often leads to supply shortages and disappointed shoppers. There usually isn’t enough of “Product X” for everyone, and the early bird gets the worm. The stress caused by not finding that perfume your wife wanted or that tablet your son wanted can lead to distracted work and lowered productivity. Start early and enjoy seeing all of your presents safely under the tree with time to spare.
5. Don’t break the bank.
It can be tempting to “go big” during the holiday season. Parties, gifts, and decorations all come at a cost. While it’s great to see someone’s face light up when they open an expensive gift or see your one million bulb masterpiece, it really is the thought that counts. Buying or making gifts that show you put a lot of thought into who that person is and what they are interested in will always be infinitely better than that brand new tablet.
Set a budget and stick to it. Establishing a budget and staying on target will help you enjoy the holidays instead of worrying about your finances going into the new year. Don’t forget to factor in the extras like secret santas, transportation, and eating out. For those with large families, Secret Santa is a great option so you’re not buying every aunt, uncle, and cousin their own gadget.