We are in the midst of the craziest time of the year. Between holiday celebrations and 2014 wrap-up reports, gift shopping and 2015 goal setting, it all can seem overwhelming and, at times, even unmanageable.
You’re not alone in this thinking. Everyone is busy during the holidays. We all have the same amount of time in the day, week, month and so on. But, why is it that some people just get more done?
Here are three ways to keep your focus during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
1. Plan ahead.
Create a to-do list for both work and personal tasks. When you’re at work, focus on your work. Likewise, when you’re at home, concentrate on checking off tasks on your personal list. Don’t bring work home with you.
The key is not to multitask. You can’t sit in on a conference call and shop online at the same time, that isn’t a productive or efficient use of your time. Attend to one project at a time and finish what you start.
2. Eliminate distractions.
Technology aids businesses in a lot of ways, but it can also be detrimental to your productivity. If you want to have a meaningful day at work, simply unplug. Turn off alerts on your phone and email. Choose two to three times throughout the day to check them, using that time to respond to any urgent messages. In addition, avoid social media. Only log in for business purposes.
3. Don’t over-commit.
We are constantly guilty of over-committing, especially during the holidays when there are countless parties and functions. Limit your engagements so you have time to focus on wrapping up your work and are able to actually enjoy the holidays.
This is a great time of the year to discover the Joy of Missing Out (JOMO). JOMO allows you to miss out on those things that you don’t truly care about and permits you to participate enthusiastically in events and opportunities that matter to you.
4. Use your extra vacation days.
If you have unused vacation days, now is the time to take them. Spend a day with family or hit the mall to get your shopping done. This will give you a much-needed opportunity to refresh and recharge during this busy season.
5. Enjoy the holidays.
Most importantly, remember to embrace the holiday season and encourage everyone to have fun. Gather the team for a wrapping party or a spontaneous happy hour. Having a positive culture helps drive your team to high performance.
I challenge you to find this purpose at work and purpose at home to ensure that you and your team are highly productive during the remainder of this holiday season and finish out 2014 strong.
This story was originally published in The Tennessean.