The festive season is the time of year for Christmas parties, shopping, exchanging gifts, snow days, and of course, time off work.

However, the Christmas period is also full of distractions, and it can be easy to lose productivity and motivation during the lead up to Christmas.

Combined with the increased workload that usually comes before Christmas, this can cause stress and leave you feeling overwhelmed with work.

If this is the case for you, then don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for some tips on how to keep up productivity over the Christmas period.


1- Be Flexible

It’s inevitable that you’ll get distracted over Christmas – you’ll have other commitments pop up that may get in the way of your schedule.

Instead of stressing yourself out trying to stick to a strict timetable, allow yourself some flexibility. If you have to pop out to run an errand, work an extra hour at the end of the day instead of rushing after work and waiting in long queues.

Flexible working can relieve stress and boost your morale, keeping you happy and focused during the build-up to Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

You may have more meetings than usual over the festive period, so instead of cancelling on potential clients, make up the extra hours elsewhere.

If you have family events that you can’t or don’t want to miss, for example, your children’s nativity plays or Christmas shows, then give yourself some time to enjoy these while ensuring that you make up the time.

However, don’t allow yourself to take advantage of the flexibility and make sure that you’re doing what needs to be done in terms of business.

You can still enjoy Christmas and the festivities that come with it as long as you commit yourself and keep on top of your workload.

If you’re working from home over the Christmas period, then you might benefit from our article on how to build self discipline while working from home. 


2- Take Regular Breaks

One of the main reasons that people get stressed during work is that they don’t take enough breaks.

Taking regular breaks throughout the day can keep you motivated and help you to become more productive overall.

If you only have time for a one-hour lunch break, why not only take half an hour for lunch and then take three ten minute breaks throughout the day?

Regular breaks can help you to retain information and boost your creativity, ultimately improving your productivity – so it’s especially important that you take regular breaks over Christmas.

Overworking yourself won’t do you any good, and can contribute to mental health problems as well as physical health issues. Your quality of work may also suffer, so be sure to take some time to refresh and relax during the day.

Let’s not forget that work can get busy during the Christmas build-up, and taking 5 or 10 minutes every so often to go for a brisk walk, meditate, or simply sit away from your screen can do the world of good in terms of relieving stress.


3- Don’t Stop Learning

Professional development is key to success in pretty much any industry, but too many people neglect this over the festive period.

It’s important to continue any learning that you’ve committed to throughout December, even if your workload does get heavier.

One of the best ways that you can stay motivated is by learning on a regular basis, and taking an online course over Christmas is sure to keep you productive and on track with your workload.

If you can’t find the time to take an online course, then why not take an extra 30 minutes after work or before work, or attend an online event instead?

Spending time learning in the morning can be a great way to start the day, and you’ll be sure to start the day in the right mindset.

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4- Prioritise the Important Stuff

Prioritising is key to productivity when you have a heavy workload – and part of prioritising is knowing when to say no.

Try making a list or a mindmap of what needs to be done and then put them in order. In this list, take into account personal plans too – if you can’t miss your child’s nativity play, then place it near the top.

Admin work is a necessary part of business, but if it can be left to the end of the month, then schedule it in for then.

During the Christmas period, you’ll likely be invited to countless events – but you don’t have to say yes to all of them. If you have more pressing matters to deal with, then prioritise those instead.

Be direct when you’re turning down work or invitations, or suggest another activity that is less time-consuming. Instead of going to one of many Christmas parties, pop in for a drink or two instead.

Know that you’ve worked hard to get where you are, and you don’t have to say yes to everything that comes your way.


5- Don’t Leave Too Much For January

Although you may be tempted to push certain tasks back to January, it’s only going to extend the stressful period.

January has been voted as one of the most depressing months in many polls – you may be struggling financially after forking out for Christmas gifts, there’s miserable weather and not much to look forward to.

Leaving all your tasks for January is sure to make January an even worse month – so do what you can on time.

Many businesses make the mistake of leaving too much work for January which leaves them behind for the next couple of months.

However, if you’re too busy and have to leave some work for the next month, then make sure you set realistic deadlines. Your clients will probably be in the same boat and they should understand – so talk to them and let them know when you’ll have things back in order.

For some more tips, check out our post on how to be more productive while working less, or how to get out of your own way at work. 

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