Of course, the holidays are not traditionally a time to concentrate on productivity, and we may spend December thinking about our families, celebrations, and possibly some upcoming time off of work. Most of us will still have work responsibilities during that time, however, and the last thing you need in January is a bigger list of unfinished projects than you would already have.
With that in mind, here are five holiday season productivity killers to avoid:
Late night, midweek holiday parties. Once the schedule starts to get full, people will be tempted to throw parties and get-togethers in the middle of the week. Staying out late on a Tuesday night is a great way to wreck your productivity for three days, though, so try to avoid these types of gatherings… or at least get to bed early.
Sleeping in. As the weather turns cold and our brains shift into holiday mode, it is going to be easy to start softening on your morning routine, especially when it comes to things like workouts and early meetings. Missing one of these is not usually a big deal, but it could throw you off your normal schedule or leave you feeling sluggish, so try to keep up if you can.
Unnecessary travel. Is that mid-December layover in Chicago really worth the headaches? There are a lot of reasons to skip face-to-face meetings in favor of webinars, teleconferencing, and other forms of virtual contact these days. That’s especially true during the holiday season when airports are overloaded and the weather is bad.
Short visits to relatives across town. Of course you should not skip out on seeing your family altogether, but those drop-in visits never turn out to be as quick as you think they will, do they? Somewhere around your third cup of coffee and a conversation about your cousin’s stint in rehab, you realize that you didn’t leave enough time to really catch up. Try to set up family get-togethers for days and occasions when you have plenty of time without cutting into your sleep or productivity.
Crunch time gift shopping. Most of us do not enjoy crowded shopping malls, and it is often easier to shop on the Internet, anyway. Either way, try not to leave your holiday shopping to the last minute; you won’t have to rush if you take care of it early, and it will not be on your mind and affecting your productivity later.
The holidays are not really about productivity, but they do not have to be a drag on your working life, either. Simply follow these tips, and make the most of your December. Then consider taking time to clear out the clutter in your life as the new year begins.