It’s December and one side of my brain is already thinking about presents, imagining the warmth of home, and preparing a list of “must-buys” for Christmas entertaining . The other side ois stuck with the reality of my daily life: me, at the office, dealing with day-to-day tasks. My attention has been divided and this can be seen in my results. It’s not the best situation you want to deal with, especially when the boss has clear expectations from you and reminds you that holiday starts only on the 24th of December. Therefore, we all most refocus and get concentrate to get things done in time. If this sounds like you, the tips listed below might help.
1. Create shopping lists on the weekends. Gather with your family and write down everything you need to buy for Christmas: food, presents, etc. This is also the right moment to decide where you will go and to make reservation if applicable.
2. Beat the rush. To remain productive at work it’s important to make plans and schedule while you are home and to do this in time without delaying untilthe last moment. In this way you will not be stressed before Christmas.
3. Dedicate your after-work time to online shopping. If you are searching for gifts and sales after work then you will not be tempted to do this at work the next day.
4. Ask for favors. There’s nothing wrong in asking for help from your friends and family if you find yourself stressed by time.
5. Organize your work and get things done. Once you get to the office, forget about Christmas and organize your work. Schedule your tasks and start working.
6. Deal with important tasks first. Morning is the most productive part of the day for most of us, so it’s better to get the most important tasks done in this part of the day. Doing this you might get some free minutes for daydreaming about the holidays in the afternoon (but don’t be too obvious).
7. Steal time from your break if you want to check last-minute offers. If you know there will be a good promotional offer and you want to catch it, you can do this during you lunch break. But don’t waste all your time in front of computer eating junk food because this will definitely not increase your productivity.
8. Focus on your work not on how your vacation will be. I know the holiday spirit has caught hold of you, but stay on target. Try picturing yourself not taking that vacation because you lost your bonus due to sloppy work while you were daydreaming about your holiday trip.
9. Avoid distractions. You will receive e-cards, your colleagues will go on about their vacations, but you have to ignore all that and stay focused. Don’t get involved. Choose an e-card and schedule it to be sent automatically to all your contacts and in this way you won’t have to worry you missed someone.
10. Be consistent in your work. If you start falling behind, don’t give up! Take a 5 minute break and start over with new energy and fresh ideas.
11. Think about the consequences if you won’t finish the work. It’s not a nice approach but this might motivate you.
Like everything else, we have to find a balance between work and Christmas preparations. Managers will not accept unfinished projects no matter how badly you need to go buy gifts for your family and friends. Moreover, you don’t want spend the Christmas Eve at the office finishing tasks that you’ve put off. Choose to be productive and you might receive a nice reward for your work.
How do you stay focused at work with the holidays upon us? Share your strategies in the comments!