I’ll be the first to admit that getting work done this time of year is harder than it looks. How can a person possibly knock out extra hours in the office when there are holiday movies to watch, presents to wrap and Christmas trees to decorate?? I’m a big proponent for finding that family time during the holidays, and sometimes that means work takes a back seat.
But — it doesn’t have to.
Here’s how I get motivated enough to get real work done this time of year and how you can, too.
1. Make a list — and stick to it.
Lists make everything more manageable, in my humble opinion. Choose a time each day (for example, just before bed or over your first cup of coffee) to sit down for five minutes and make a list for your day. It helps to do this at the same time each day to form a habit, and it’s especially helpful over the holidays. When you complete some of the list items, cross those babies off and pat yourself on the back for being a productivity ninja.
2. Set timers for yourself.
Because it totally works. Set timers either on your phone, computer or totally cute retro kitchen timer, and determine what project or task you’re going to work on for the allotted time. Try to avoid answering calls or texts until the timer is up and you have a break between tasks. If you’re feeling really gutsy, use a website or app that blocks social media sites for a period of time. It takes much longer to complete a task when you’re constantly checking Facebook and getting text notifications.
3. Reward yourself.
Rather than looking at family time as an obligation to spend time with loved ones, I view it as a reward for getting work done. Don’t make your family time just another thing to check off your list; otherwise, it’ll soon become another “task” to complete and may not be perceived as desirable fun time. Keep it off the list, and work through your daily list of to do’s with the purpose of setting your work aside and thinking of nothing other than your sweet family.
4. Encourage loved ones to use downtime for the same purpose.
Who says you’ll be the only one with work to achieve and errands to run? If some of your loved ones are in the same boat, set a designated time to each focus on your own work and get stuff done. My fiancé and I do this almost every day, with the knowledge that the evening comes with Christmas movies and time with the pigs.
So that’s it, four easy steps to ensure you stay productive during the holidays and still make time for family that everyone can look forward to!