Holidays are always the busiest season of the year. Family obligations, travelling, shopping and other activities can be overwhelming and challenging to keep track of. Getting work done and being productive can be pretty difficult this time of the year. Studies suggest that work is one of the main reasons for holiday stress, centred around the work-family balance during the holidays.
Recommendations to increase productivity during the holidays:
1. Take some days off!
Dedicate some time to your personal life and don’t expect to work. Enjoy some quality time with friends and family, do some Christmas errands or just take some time off. Most importantly, don’t feel guilty!
2. Make a to-do list and prioritize.
To do lists are a great tool to keep yourself focused and productive. Since time is limited, keep it short and don’t overcommit. A mile-long list can be discouraging, especially after realizing that you haven’t achieved your expectations.
Make a daily list with the most critical tasks and weekly project goals. If you don’t like old-fashioned pen and paper, try one of the multiple digital apps like Todoist that help create and manage your lists.
3. Evaluate your progress and results.
Once your working time is over, measure your performance and the progress of the goals and tasks you have set. If the results are not as good as expected, evaluate the work and review your goals and expectations.
4. Try to avoid working from home.
Find a spot that you like where you can be productive and disconnect from hectic family life. This will reduce your distractions. Your favorite coffee shop or a co-working space is a great option. Croissant offers a wide variety of co-working spaces for a monthly membership. For families with school-age children, getting some work done can be even more challenging. If you need childcare or to keep your kids busy, check a coworking space that offers on-site childcare.
5. Find the time where you are most productive.
Early birds find mornings the perfect quiet time to get work done and enjoy the rest of the day. Others prefer night time away from distractions – some parents find that evenings are the perfect time to focus after kids go to bed.
6. Avoid Multitasking.
Work on one project at a time. Studies from Stanford University show that “people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time”.
7. Define your work schedule.
Setting yourself a schedule and working hours creates a feeling of accountability.
8. Respect your working hours.
To make the most of the limited time you have, try to avoid personal calls, texts and social media. Put your phone away and focus on your list of priorities. Ask your friends and family to respect your time. If you’re a parent, plan your schedule ahead and coordinate your working hours with your partner to avoid miscommunication and distractions.