The holidays are a fun and busy time for everyone, but it can be a particularly hectic time for entrepreneurs and people with side hustles. It’s already tough to keep up with the holiday events with friends and family but this time of year can be the most lucrative quarter for some businesses which means more time working. It can be difficult to focus on what you’re doing, let along get everything done on time. I wanted to share a few ways I stay productive at work during the holidays:
Compartmentalize your to-do list.
I know compartmentalize sounds like a dirty word but I find it’s the best way to get everything done and focus on what I need to do each day. When I’m working, I do my best to fully focus on work activities. Then when I’m not working in the evenings or on the weekends, I try to completely step away and focus on holiday prep and spending time with friends and family. No one wants to be responding to emails or getting orders out right after Thanksgiving dinner, so try to put it away and trust the world won’t end in the next few hours.
Sneak in extra work time.
While I do think it’s important to step away from work and focus on friends and family during the holidays, for a lot of businesses, it’s the busiest and most profitable time of the year and working less is just not an option. I try to either work an hour or so extra each day (I find starting an hour early helps) or work for a few hours in the mornings on the weekend. Depending on your schedule, one of these might work better than the other but if you consistently sneak in some extra hours of work throughout the week, it can help you stay on top of your business tasks without sacrificing holiday events.
Go easy on the alcohol.
For me and my family, the jolly holidays includes alcohol and I mean a fair amount of alcohol. I like to “celebrate” just as much as everyone else but if I know I’m working the next day and I plan on being productive, I try to limit my alcohol. Trying to be productive at work with a holiday hangover is a recipe for a wasted day and most of us don’t have time to waste even an hour of work during the holiday season.
Get plenty of sleep.
This goes along with the last point, try not to stay up until 3 am reminiscing if you are planning on working at 7 am the next morning. If you do manage to drag yourself out of bed, you probably aren’t going to be on your A game and you may even need a nap later in the day, again sacrificing working time. Try to get a good night of sleep each night or at least schedule a nap if you know it’s going to be a late night. Getting plenty of sleep will also help ensure you don’t get sick during the holidays.
Get some elves to help out.
There are magical creatures who can help complete your tasks during the holidays and make sure you get everything done. But they’re not elves, they’re VAs, apps, delivery people, etc. There is no reason you have to do it all yourself! Take a look at your list of priorities, both personal and professional for the holidays and figure out how you can outsource, delegate, or just not do some of them. Ordering gifts online? Opt for the gift wrap option. Going to Friendsgiving? Order that side dish you promised to bring online and get some wine delivered while you’re at it. Need help with order fulfillment? There are plenty of part time workers or college students on winter break looking to make some money over the holidays, enlist them to help with packaging, shipping, and customer service. This is not the time of the year to try to do everything and do it all yourself!
How do you get everything done during the holidays?