It’s the most wonderful time of the year again! But that can often mean one of the most hectic times too, both professionally and personally. And with all the additional things to think about and to do, sometimes we can all start to lose a little focus. As we wrap up the last few weeks of the year amid holiday season celebrations, let’s take a look at some quick tips for staying productive so you’re ready to hit the ground running in the new year.
1. Do-not-forget list. With all that is going during the holiday season it can be easy to forget about projects or tasks. Things can easily be pushed to the back of your brain until the last moment. This is always best avoided as no one wants to start a project or task right before a deadline – or worst of all, forget one entirely. Even if you’re not normally one to create to-do lists on paper, studies show that the mere act of physically writing something down can help us better remember it. Create a simple list of tasks you must remember to do before signing off for the holidays. Keep this piece of paper in a visible place on your desk as a constant reminder of things that need to get done, thus ensuring nothing is forgotten and all tasks remain on their target timeline.
2. Prioritize. It sounds simple but it’s effective. Set deadlines and prioritize. Determine what absolutely needs to be accomplished before the end of the year and whether there are tasks or projects that could slip into next year, if necessary. If you have projects that have no firm deadlines from outside sources, create them. Having deadlines and prioritizing them will help you avoid thinking too much about future projects that you have time to work on later and getting distracted from the current task at hand.
3. Stick to a routine. During the holiday season your schedule could be somewhat more unpredictable – thanks to things like creating special holiday marketing campaigns, attending virtual workplace celebrations and either yourself or colleagues taking time off from work – but it’s important to try stick to your set routine as closely as possible. Sticking to a routine means you are more likely to be productive, as this is how you have been operating successfully all year. Some aspects may change during the holidays but sticking to your regular year-round rhythm can help you maintain focus.
4. Ask for help if you need it. If you feel like you are drowning in work during the holiday season and it makes you feel like you aren’t accomplishing anything, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to your manager to discuss the issue as soon as possible. The last thing management would want is for tasks to not get done because you have too many going on. And asking for help means your workload could be distributed or prioritized differently. Feeling on top of your workload rather than constantly panicked is a sure-fire way to be productive during the holidays.
5. Set time aside to plan for the holidays. One of the most distracting things that happens at work during the holidays is people worrying about said holidays. It’s understandable to be in the middle of work and then realizing you forgot to get someone a gift or that gift may be sold out and now your day is spent thinking and worrying about a gift rather than work. Set time aside during the day dedicated solely to holiday planning, whether it’s during your lunch break or after work. By scheduling that time in your day, you know if something related to the holidays comes up while working you can relegate it to holiday planning time rather than letting it distract you from achieving year-end marketing success.
Happy Marketing and Happy Holidays!