The holidays are such a wonderful time of the year. Friends and family are in town, there are parties to attend, and… you’re stuck at work again. womp.
It’s important to complete all of the work (and hours!) expected of you at work. But how can you set yourself up so you’re able to accomplish everything and enjoy the holidays?
Be realistic about what needs to get done so you can enjoy the holidays
First, be realistic with yourself about what absolutely needs to get done before the holidays. What items have hard-and-fast deadlines that happen before the end of the year, and what items can wait until January, or are more flexible long-term projects?
For example, I needed to absolutely need to finish several of my projects before I left for vacation (hello, Girl Scout Cookie Program!). That’s where I focused my time.
On the other hand, one of my bigger projects was to reorganize the backend of our website. Super important, yes, but the deadline isn’t looming, it’s something I can work on as time allows.
If you’ve got lots of plans outside of work so you can enjoy the holidays, time doesn’t allow for those types of projects.
Focus, focus, focus!
As you’re working on your high-priority projects, focus on the task at hand. This is especially important if you work from home.
I’ve been working from home for the past few months, which means there are roughly 15,000 distractions at any given moment. The dog wants to play, the cat is being weird, the laundry needs to get done, an Amazon package just arrived… there’s always something else you could be doing.
But remember, you have to get at least 40 hours of work in, if you work full-time. And if you don’t want to work more hours just to meet those hard-and-fast deadlines, don’t do other things when you’re supposed to be working.
Sure, it’s okay to put in one load of laundry when you’re switching from one project to another. But try not to break up a single project into smaller chunks, because it can take 30 minutes for you to get in the right mindset to begin working again. That’s a lot of lost time for a single load of laundry.
Plan down to the minute
I love time blocking. I don’t really use a to do list for work; when a new task comes up, I put it in my calendar and work on it when I get a calendar notification.
This works really well for me, except in one situation: when I overestimate how much time I need to complete a task, and I finish early.
Rather than thinking “Awesome, I finished 20 minutes early! Time to catch up on Bloglovin!”, you should be asking yourself, “what else can I accomplish with this 20 minutes I’ve given myself?” Because 20 minutes is a lot of time!
If you need a short break, take one. Otherwise have a plan for those extra minutes. Make a short list of things to accomplish if you have extra time so you’re not scrambling to find a task and settle for Instagram (again).
With the proper amount of planning, you’ll be getting ready for the next holiday party in no time! What are your favorite ways to focus your time so you accomplish everything before the deadline?