For some, the countdown to Christmas started a while ago. For others, if adding a few extra weeks to the calendar were an option, they would likely add it to their wish list. Why? For the very simple reason that their schedule is overflowing with projects that have to be wrapped up before the end of December within sometimes seemingly unrealistic deadlines.
Regardless of which scenario represents you best, one thing is certain: you have to be productive in the coming weeks if you want to leave the office by Christmas Eve with peace of mind.
To make your life easier, we put together a list of tips to help you finish your tasks before the holidays so that you can enjoy this time of love and cheer with a light heart!
1. Set a realistic schedule
For many, December is a shorter month in terms of weeks of work, which is why it is imperative that your schedule reflect this.
Monday, a web-based and mobile project management tool, will help you organize your time down to the minute and set a realistic schedule. It also gives you access to projects being worked on by your team and lets you track their progress in real time.
2. Learn to say “no”
Between invitations from university pals, family members, childhood friends and colleagues, it quickly becomes impossible to spend an evening in December without having to attend a holiday gathering. Learn to simply say “no” if the event in question might throw off your work schedule and raise your stress level.
Save these celebrations for days you have off. This will prevent you from feeling guilty or stretching yourself too thin unnecessarily.
Here are some helpful tips for declining politely, while putting yourself first:
- Be direct. For example, say “I can’t unfortunately,” but be sure to add “thank you for asking” as a show of politeness.
- More importantly, do not lie. Lying will most likely lead to guilt, and that is exactly what you are trying to avoid feeling.
- Remember that it is better to say “no” now than feel resentment later.
Do not say “I’ll think about it” if you do not want to partake. This will only prolong the inevitable and will make you feel even more stressed.
3. Finish your shopping early in December
Do not wait until December 23 to do all your Christmas shopping because the longer you wait, the more stressed out you will feel and the less productive you will be at work. Finish your shopping by the first weekend of December so that your mind can focus on the projects you have to deliver rather than on the gifts you still have to find.
If you are placing online orders, we suggest buying local for quick delivery. For example, the online store c’est beau.co has a wide selection of gift ideas exclusively from Quebec artisans. This is a great way to promote our local talent and consume responsibly.
4. Learn to delegate and communicate effectively
This tip is useful year-round because communication is the key to success in any workplace, but especially during busier periods. Do not have qualms about asking for help and delegating if need be if you feel you will not complete a task on time. Who knows, perhaps a colleague is sitting around twiddling his or her thumbs and would be more than happy to help.
Here is an article to help you delegate effectively.
5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the holidays, but it is crucial that you keep healthy lifestyle habits if you want to make it to Christmas in one piece. Even if it feels like you are short on time, block off a few hours during your week for physical activity.
Also, when you are in control of the menu, opt for healthy choices, since it is easy to indulge in heavy festive meals. It’s all about balance!
Above all, do not change your wellness routine under the pretext that you are busier than usual because these changes will have a direct effect on your productivity.
6. Allow yourself to postpone projects that can wait until January
In an ideal world, everyone would set a fresh foot in the office in the new year having left 2019 behind and would focus on nothing but new projects, since new things are so much more exciting! However, it is sometimes a better idea to step back and put some tasks off until you come back from your holiday break because with rest come different perspectives. So, be open to this option.
Going back to step 1, by setting a realistic schedule, you will be able to assign a priority level to each project, from “urgent” to “optional” (for now). Focus your efforts on pressing needs and plan ahead for when you come back from the holiday break with a new list of priorities for the coming months.
In closing, it is essential to remember that the holidays are a time for sharing, merrymaking and love, so make sure there is a healthy balance between your work and personal life. By not taking on too much and staying organized, you will definitely make the most of this festive flurry of excitement.
Wishing you all health and happiness!