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Here are 14 ways to stay focused and maintain high productivity during the chaotic holiday season:
Take a few days off. This will give you a chance to refresh and recharge during the busy holiday season.
Plan early and communicate your expectations and schedule. If you know the week before Christmas is especially busy on the personal front with school concerts, visiting relatives; anticipate and communicate this early.
Create your to-do list and prioritize tasks. Get your tasks and projects, both personal and professional, into a digital or paper system and out of your head. This will make your holidays more joyful and energizes you to accomplish your front burner tasks.
Avoid multitasking. Work on one project at a time. Also, try to avoid working on personal and work-related tasks at the same time. Shopping online while listening in on a conference call could be disastrous.
Start working on year-end projects and personal tasks early. Start your holiday shopping earlier than you have in the past, and get a head start on any upcoming projects at work.
Don’t take your work home. When at the office try to set clear and reasonable goals for what you want to accomplish while at the office and be sure to commit to a hard break.
Get into the spirit. Being positive during the holidays can make a big difference in your performance.
Watch out for distractions. While at the office, don’t give yourself the assignment to cram in shopping at lunch or buy gifts online. At work, focus on work.
Take care of yourself physically. When you make time for exercising or getting more sleep, the rest of your schedule will fall into place.
Don’t over-commit. Be sure to prioritize and balance your holiday activities with your work obligations.
Remind yourself to stay focused at work. The trick is to forget about “seasons” and focus on “today.” Is today a holiday? If not, behave as you would in September.
Do a self-evaluation. At the end of each day and week in December, review your level of productivity.
Look forward to next year. Anticipating new budgets and projects will keep you motivated for what you’re doing now.
Remember what the holidays are all about. Keep in mind the holiday season is for celebration.