08 Dec How To Stay Productive In The Holiday Season
Did you know that half of the world is getting excited and hectic in December? When entering the holiday season, people get busy looking for presents and making arrangements for the upcoming Christmas and New Year’s Eve. The holiday season feels great and is full of happy moments, however it can result in tremendous productivity loss and stress for unequipped people and companies.
To help you stay highly productive and maintain only positive vibes, I would like to share with you a couple of strategies that saved me tons of time last year. These tricks helped me prepare for the festive moments and, at the same time, stay on track with my goals.
Block time for work, shopping and fun
Just like highly successful people block time for their key tasks at work, you need to block several time slots for shopping and fun in the holiday season. Even though you might be thinking to quickly get those gifts during your lunch break or in the last minute, believe me, this plan never works properly. When choosing the first option, most likely you will be delayed at the store for at least one hour and thus mess up some of the tasks at work. When going for the second option, you risk seeing empty shelves on December 23rd and regretting that it’s too late to get the gift you wanted. You don’t need that stress.
Social life is important for your work-life balance and needs time. Don’t try to squeeze a quick pre-Christmas coffee with your best friend into your lunch break. You and your loved ones deserve a relaxed atmosphere and zero time pressure when maintaining great relationships. Therefore you need to plan several appointments with your friends and family to give them full attention and enjoy your time together.
Plan in advance
Approach your holiday preparation from a new perspective: imagine as if it were an important project with a deadline. Most of the people do not associate holiday fun with planning, and thus are facing unnecessary stress at some point. You don’t need an Excel table to plan for Christmas (unless you have over 50 close people and relatives you want to surprise with a gift or invite to dinner). Take simple notes on a piece of paper or your mobile phone. Write down the names of your loved ones and any gift ideas you have. Create a separate list for your festive dinner. It’s important to include the dates: by when you plan to get the presents and the ingredients for Christmas dinner. Do your best to finish as much as possible one week before the holiday. You don’t want to be queuing for two hours on the holiday eve.
If you have a partner or a close friend who will join you for the festivities, share the responsibilities with this person. It always feels great to have someone who is supporting you. Be creative and have fun when preparing things together. Having a common electronic list or using any shared list app will help you enjoy the process.
Save time buying presents online
Internet gives us a huge advantage and helps save tons of time when we know how to avoid distractions like ads and pop-ups. Personally I start thinking about Christmas gifts well in advance, and by December I know exactly what I want to buy and where. Last year I ordered 80% of my gifts online and got them delivered to my doorsteps at the convenient time. There are plenty of online stores out there, with eBay, Amazon and AliExpress being the giants in this field. The only thing you need to keep in mind is their delivery times, especially if you are ordering oversees.
If it comes to the worst and you suddenly remember on Christmas Eve that you forgot to buy a present for your 80-year-old aunt, internet is your magic wand to save your face and holiday mood. You can get a gift voucher on Groupon within minutes and print it out or simply send it by email.
In case you are looking for something immaterial like personal development gifts, next week I’ll share some insider tips where to get those.
Stay on track
Last, but not least, remember that December is a crucial month for reaching your goals. It is the time for the last push before drawing the line and assessing your accomplishments this year. December might seem as a never finishing holiday, however you should know that the most successful people always stay on track with their goals despite the excitement and hectic. After you blocked time for shopping and fun in your calendar, there is no excuse to waive your important work tasks.
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How do you stay productive in the holiday season? Please share your ideas. Simply leave your comments and/or questions in the space below.