My calendar is has been rapidly filling up this holiday month. With December drawing to a close, the cocktail parties, happy hours, art openings, out-of-town friends, and even baking dates are starting to really pile up. During the holidays, we become super-sized taskmasters — we plan, we shop, we party, we watch, we eat, we share . . . Oops, did I forget something?
Oh yeah, we work…if we can find the time!
A productivity slump around the holidays has become, to say the least, expected in most offices. I suppose we could all just follow suit, but remember: staying productive through it all is also a fantastic way to get noticed!
Watch out for these Top Holiday Distractions — don’t let that bug get you!
- Online Shopping: With all those online deals popping up, shopping is a becoming a prime holiday activity that saps work productivity. Over half of American workers (54%) planned to shop online from the office after Cyber Monday. Workers who expected to online shop for more than two hours at work also identified a decline in productivity during the holiday season at a much larger rate than those who did not plan to shop from the office.
- Noisy Co-workers: No matter what time of year it is, this still ranks as high distraction. Loud colleagues tend to be louder this time of year as they talk about gift exchanges, parties, happy hours, etc.
- Impromptu Meetings: Another productivity killer is those “quick” meetings that management wants to have. According to a Fortune Magazine study, nearly 1 in 4 complain that they would get more work done if they didn’t have to spend so much time in meetings talking about the work they’ve got to do.
- Personal Communications: You have to respond to all those invites to parties and gatherings, not to mention your interpersonal issues. Did you forget something? Oh yes — your prospects!
- Rightsize Your To Do List: It’s always hard to accept a period of lower productivity, but it can work in your favor. If you scale down your list of projects and focus on what is both important and manageable, you’ll be better off than trying to do too much while finishing nothing. Focusing on fewer, important objectives is a great way to get a motivation boost, too.
- Keep Work and Home Separate: This is always a good rule, if hard to follow. But during the holidays, mixing the two up can leave you with unfinished business as home (like holiday shopping, planning visits, and coordinating family schedules) that can in turn creep back into your work time and disrupt your productivity there.
- Moderate Your Holiday Engorgement: If you don’t keep moderation in mind, you’re going to find yourself swimming in booze and eating your way through a mountain of sugar and butter with weeks to go until vacation. Just try to get up, make that early commute, and stare at a screen for hours after binging on spiked eggnog and the better part of a gingerbread house. It’s not going to work, folks. Keep things moderate if you still have to return to work soon. Then, when your vacation finally arrives, consume like a Roman Emperor!
- Prioritize your Holiday Cheer: There are going to be parties. Lots of parties. Ugly sweater parties, white elephant parties, pub crawls, SantaCon. Keep the festivities manageable and balanced between work, family, and friends.