10 tips to stay productive at work around the holidays
It's hard to motivate yourself to stay productive at the office during the holidays when everyone else is on vacation. Here are tips to keep you focused.
As you glance over at the festive decorations and empty cubicles around you during the holidays, trying to stay awake and productive can feel like trying to compete in a triathlon.
Here are 10 tips to help you stay productive at work around the holidays when no one’s around.
1.Set daily goals for yourself. Write down a list of tasks that you need to accomplish for the day. Keeping something tangible by your side may increase your motivation to cross all the items off your list before you leave for the day.
2.Remember: It’s OK to take a break. Try taking a lap around your office building to get some fresh air or making a quick run to a coffee shop for a dose of caffeinated goodness. Don’t think you’re doing anyone any favors by staying in your cubicle and sleeping with your eyes open.
3.Clear your desk. Holiday decorations are cheery, but they can also be distracting if they’re taking up a bulk of the space on your desk. A little tidying up or clearing away can go a long way toward putting you in the right frame of mind to knock out a few tasks.
4.Put your blinders on for increased concentration. As you’re about to start working on a task or project, close out all your entertainment tabs — that includes YouTube and other social networks, and possibly even email if you think it will be distracting. Putting your smartphone away or turning it off for a while can also help eliminate unnecessary distractions.
5.Reach out to others in the office. See who else is working around the holidays and invite them out to lunch. This is probably one of the best times to try to get to know your co-workers better because they’ll likely have more spare time and be more laid back than during regular stressful work days. Plus these outings could double as informal brainstorming sessions for projects in which you might have hit a wall.
6.Prioritize your tasks. Not everything is top priority — especially around the holidays when almost everyone is out of the office. Try breaking out your tasks into “must-do” and “nice-to-do” piles so it’s easier to tackle them one by one.
7.Hit the gym. You could try putting your lunch break to good use by squeezing in a good workout. Not only will it help in your desperate quest to stay awake, but it will also do wonders for your mood and stress levels.
8.Treat yourself. It works just as well on you as it would on a 5-year-old. Promise yourself various treats throughout the day — coffee, candy, social media breaks, etc. — as you stop procrastinating and cross items off your to-do list.
9.Seek some solitude. If it helps, choose pockets of time when you need to really concentrate. Then, lock yourself in a conference room — they will probably all be vacant and available around the holidays — and try to knock out your assignment in much less time than they’d normally take if surrounded by distracting co-workers.
10.Make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Tempting as it is to stay up till the wee hours watching holiday movie marathons, it’s important to try as much as possible to stick to a regular sleep schedule lest you mess up your body’s rhythm and find yourself constantly nodding off throughout the day.
Tweet at @CareerBuilder: How do you stay productive around the holidays?