Christmas is at the door and now comes a cozy time with family and friends. Jingle bells, good food and gifts.
But if you, like me, did not apply for a holiday over the Christmas weekend, all this may not feel as warm and cuddly. Invitations come from left and right, which you are forced to turn down. Working over Christmas also becomes an extra challenge when many work from home. It’s hard to resist the temptations that wash over you.
So how do you maintain productivity over Christmas?
1 Create a plan and prepare
To be sure that you get the right things done over Christmas, it is very good to create a plan. Both for you to know what you need to get done but also for you to be able to prepare your work. Your colleagues may not be available over the Christmas weekend, so be sure to take important things with them before they go on vacation. This way you know that you have everything you need from your colleagues to be able to work efficiently over Christmas.
2 Be open about working
It can help a lot to be clear to your surroundings that you are going to work over the Christmas weekend. And there is something magical about telling others what your intentions are, because it tends to push yourself to actually do what is said.
3 Work in a good spot
Will you, like so many others, work from home over the Christmas weekend? Then there is a risk that it can be a little extra difficult to get peace of mind during those days. The kitchen table may not be an optimal workplace when the partner prepares an extra turkey or the children play with their new toys. If you have the opportunity, find a place where you can sit undisturbed. Is it possible to work in the bedroom or maybe borrow one of the children’s rooms for a few hours?
If it is possible to work safely in a café or library, with sufficient distance to other people, it can be a choice if the home becomes too noisy.
4 Create creative restrictions
Setting restrictions, which you usually do not have, can actually help productivity and creativity. If we put a little pressure on ourselves or create a rule, it can give us the kick in the butt we need to get started.
- Try unplugging the cord to the computer and push yourself to get as much done as possible before the battery reaches 15%.
- No candy before the first proofreading is complete.
- Give yourself a mini-challenge such as: can I finish a piece in 10 minutes?
- Every time I open Facebook, I have to do 10 push-ups (good for getting rid of som of the Christmas calories as well).
5 Avoid social media
Sometimes it’s like the hand automatically picks up the phone, without you even thinking about it, and opens up Instagram or Facebook. But social media is an extreme time thief. Instead, try giving yourself a social media ban, and if you can resist it, you can get off work an hour earlier instead. It can motivate you to keep your focus up and avoid wasting precious time scrolling through the feed.
6 When the work load is low – work on your skills
Many jobs comes to a halt over the Christmas weekend. There are not as many deadlines set on the days between Christmas and New Year and people tend to lower their work speed. This can be a great time to work on your knowledge in the profession instead. Set aside an hour or two to watch that tutorial on Youtube that you did not have time to see in October. Or read about trends in your particular industry to be able to come back after New Year and shine with your new found knowledge. Good for both you and the company.
7 Be realistic
Last but certainly not least, it is important to be realistic when it comes to planning your work over Christmas. Avoid making unnecessarily high demands on what you should achieve. Christmas is a time to take a break in a hectic world and get a chance to spend quality time with those you love. Set reasonable requirements, no more.
And to end in a fitting way, hope everything has a wonderful Christmas!