While friends and family members are decking the halls, putting up the tree and baking delicious items, you’re trying to work diligently to finish up projects before the holidays are officially here. With the temptations of slacking off, munching on cookies and snagging some great holiday deals online, when could there possibly be time to work?
Keeping your focus during the holiday can be tough, but there are steps you can take as a business or self-employed individual to make the holidays almost completely painless. Whether you work as a team with others or are a one man show, get ready to kick it into high gear for the “home stretch” (The period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.)
List it and Manage it
- Take every project between now and then and break it down into segments.
- Decide who will be doing these tasks and/or when they’ll need to be completed by.
- Set deadlines within the date of completion to stay on target.
You may have a small workload that doesn’t require laying out work in such detail, but take the time during the holiday season to outline it. Knowing where you stand can mean the difference between enjoying time with family and friends or stressing about a deadline or submitting work that’s below your high standards of quality.
Sort through your list and organize it via time or priority. It may motivate you to knock out the little things but try to tackle big projects first. Just like a kid on Christmas Morning, the closer the holidays get, the less you’ll want to work; especially on something that will require an extreme amount of focus.
Each and every person’s work schedule is different. A friend or family member may have a week off while another only gets off Thanksgiving. Let your close friend and family members know what your schedule looks like for the holiday period. They’ll respect your need to finish your work and admire your discipline to stay focused and work when it’s needed. Assure them that you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the festivities and mingle. You will be much more fun when the weight of projects and outstanding work isn’t hanging over your shoulders!
Also set this standard with your clients. Similar to the way you will be enjoying your family, let them know when you will be unavailable for client communication. A short but sweet email letting them know your availability and wishing them well for the holidays is common practice.
Breaks and Allowances
As important as business is, remember what you’re working for. You may be extremely passionate about what you do, but you’re working to improve the quality of life for both you and your loved ones. If you’re feeling unfocused or feel like procrastinating, allow yourself!
In moderation, that is! Let yourself spend that 15 minutes away from a computer breathing in the cool, crisp winter air. Run to the local coffee shop for a candy cane latte. These small breaks will keep you more motivated than attempting to push through the distractions. By being in a better mood, you’ll work harder and more efficiently!
Coworkers around you are most likely feeling the same antsy-ness you may be experiencing. Connect with them and take this chance to learn more about them and their holiday traditions.
By allowing yourself to take short breaks, you may find that the quality of work increases and that you’re happier when working than before. Setting the boundaries needed from both a business and personal standpoint will give you the time you need to focus on getting the meat part of your work done.
Listing, managing and knowing exactly what’s in front of you may be overwhelming at first, but you’ll feel exceptional when you’ve completed all of your tasks! Challenge yourself this holiday season to do more and enjoy more than you ever have before!
Have you any tips you’d like to share to tackle the holidays?
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