The most exciting, yet probably most stressful, time of the year – Christmas. Sometimes it can feel like there just aren’t enough days in December to get everything done in time for the big day as well as keeping up productivity at work.
Don’t Wait Until January
Whilst it might be easy enough to say ‘I’ll worry about it next year’ – don’t. December is the easiest time to procrastinate. But you’ll feel much better going back to work in 2019 without all of the last years work weighing you down! It may also be useful to spend an hour or so setting out some work priorities for the new year. If you do all this, you’ll go into 2019 with a clean sheet and clear focus.
Basically, don’t overdo it. Christmas comes with a huge list of things to do; shopping, card sending, planning. Try not to take on too much at the same time. It can affect your ability to do each task individually. For example, calling one of your learners while doing some last minute Christmas shopping could be potentially disastrous!
Don’t forget to take ‘you’ time. Yes, there’s lots to do, especially if you are leaving early to squeeze in some Christmas shopping. But even five minutes away from your desk for a cup of tea will clear your head. This way, you can manage what you have to do to survive the day.
The classic productivity tips of writing to do lists are extra important during the Christmas period so that work tasks don’t spill into time spent outside of the office. So, make that to-do list – one for work, one for Christmas. Make the list in order of importance. The more you begin to tick off, the more relaxed you will feel.
It sounds weird, but, the first task you complete should be the one you hate the most. Even the most prioritised to-do list can’t help you if you delay yourself, which is what you will do if you know you have a horrible job coming up. Get that hated job out of the way first, and you’ll suddenly find it a lot easier to complete all your other tasks!
It’s tempting to ignore all the emails with non-urgent requests for minor actions, but if you do, you are likely to forget them – and then those actions will suddenly become urgent. If it takes only a few minutes to do it, do it as soon as you are asked to!
Take Time Off
As counter-productive as this sounds, it will actually benefit you. If you feel like you need to, take a few days off work purely to dedicate yourself to getting Christmas organised. This way, you’ll be able to spend a few days purely dedicated to Christmas planning, and the rest staying hard at work in your normal day job.
Use the run-up to Christmas as a time to reflect. Reflection helps productivity as it allows you to get to the bottom of what’s made this a good or bad year. This allows you to do more of the things that have worked for you through the year, next year. This, in turn, will make you more productive.
Talk to your colleagues to figure out what tasks are most important and when they need to be completed. Your colleagues are going through the exact same issues you are with the Christmas looming, so don’t go it alone – have team meetings and figure out how you can all work together to make the Christmas period run as smoothly as possible.
This is very important if a number of colleagues are taking time off. Discuss how you’ll handle the workload when people are out of the office and spread it out evenly.
Remember To Enjoy Yourself
It’s still Christmas after all! As important as it is, productivity shouldn’t be top of your Christmas list. There’s no reason why Christmas shouldn’t be brought into the workplace in the form of mince pies and jumpers with bells on them. Getting in the Christmas spirit is a great way to help everyone push through this season!