It's December and the holidays are suddenly upon you, but your workload is the same. Distractions are all around and the work still has to get done. Try the following tips for staying focused at work during the holidays to make sure you have a happy and productive season this year.
Get Even More Focused to Stay Focused
Your workload may stay the same during the holidays, but your other obligations crowd into your thoughts during the work day. Forbes says that you need to prioritize your work even more diligently and stick to your schedule. Try not to multitask. Make your to do list and make your way down it, task by task. This will help you to concentrate on each thing you have to do in spite of the distractions.
Keep Work in the Office
Make it your goal to do your work in your office and not take it home at night. This helps you to create the space in your office for work only and frees up space at home to do the holiday chores.
Set Some Boundaries with Co-workers
Because you need to be focused at work, let your co-workers know when you will be heads-down at your desk versus available for socializing. Since others in your office may not be as disciplined, you'll have frequent drop-ins to say "Hi." Get in the habit of telling people that you're busy and when you'll be available. For example, "I need to finish this report right now, but I'll take a break at 1:00 and stop by your office."
Don't Take On Additional Work
If your work queue is already full, then don't extend yourself further. If additional projects come your way, then defer something else on your list. When it's for the boss, re-prioritize your work so you can fit it in. Once you over-commit, then it becomes easier to procrastinate and find reasons to not get things done. Stick to the amount of work that you know you can get done during the holiday season.
Plan for Distractions
There will be a certain number of distractions in your office such as holiday luncheons and employee-organized activities. Include these in your schedule but don't let them take over your schedule. Lunches that turn into 3-hour excursions out of the office will quickly put you behind in your work.
Keep Your Office as a Place for Work
Not everyone will click with this, but The Grindstone suggests that you maintain your office space as a work place. Leave the decorations and multi-colored flashing lights for your home. These will all become a distraction and let you easily fall into the daydreaming world of your holiday festivities. It's true that you may have the plainest looking cube in the row. But you may also be the most productive one during the holidays.