The holiday season is around the corner. If you cannot wait to make a gingerbread house with your kids, do holiday shopping, and start planning travel arrangements, we totally get you.
While holidays are a chance for you to loosen up (and finally catch up on some sleep), this time of the year can also be highly stressful and distracting. From office parties and overly chatty coworkers to the lack of supervision, many factors may prevent you from maintaining a high level of productivity at work.
If you are a work-from-home mom, balancing work and your family’s holiday traditions may be more challenging than ever.
So, how to stay focused on work while everyone else is enjoying the festivities? Here are a few simple productivity hacks that will help you keep your head in the game.
Invest in the Right Productivity Tools
Many awesome apps can help you boost performance during the holiday season. Some of them are:
- Trello lets you stay on top of your to-dos and deadlines. With it, you can slice your work down into smaller projects, as well as use calendars to visualize tasks.
- Humanforce is one of the best time and attendance software solutions. It lets you get ready for work by tracking and visualizing your team’s shifts, hours, and costs.
- Evernote helps you transform ideas into notes. You can organize notes on the go, in text, images, or audio.
- Clockify is a time tracking and management tool that lets you set the length of work and break intervals. An alarm sound and a visual notification remind you that it is time to start working or take a break.
While multitasking may sound like a solution to completing more tasks in less time, it often turns out to be a major time-waster. When rushing through your to-do list, you may not be able to focus your time and energy on any of your tasks. That often results in more mistakes and missed deadlines.
Therefore, if you are trying to cram your holiday activities into your work schedule, it is time to rethink your strategy. Instead of chaotically switching between multiple tasks, break them down into separate time blocks using a time management tool. That way, you will be able to pay undivided attention to each activity.
Classify your Tasks by Priority
During the holiday season, when you may find it hard to cope with distractions, accepting all requests out of politeness is not an option. Be selective when taking on new responsibilities. Once your to-do list is created, it is time to structure and classify your tasks by priority.
Start your day by tackling your most urgent and demanding tasks. That way, you will know that the worst is behind you and clear your schedule for more exciting aspects of your job.
No matter if you are working from an office or home, create a new to-do list for tomorrow at the end of each workday. It helps you stay organized and manage your workload more effectively.
Escape from Distractions
From the annoying sound of Messenger to a colleague that has gotten too chatty, workplace distractions are everywhere. If you are working remotely (thanks, Coronavirus), the struggle is even fiercer. You are now sharing your workspace with your kids that are not that good at delaying gratification. When they want you to help them write a letter to Santa, they expect you to do that right that second. I bet every work-from-home mom can relate.
As cute as your family’s interruptions may be, they may prevent you from completing your work. So, how to cope with them?
For starters, try isolating yourself from the rest of the family while working. If you have a separate room for work, that may be a good starting point. Closing the door and using noise-canceling headphones will help you muffle distracting sounds.
Also, set up strict boundaries and stick to them. Talk to your kids and be clear about what they can or cannot do while you are sending an important email to a client or you are videoconferencing with coworkers.
Ask Friends and Family to Respect your Workhours
Staying focused on work while your family is planning a Christmas party (even if it is a virtual one) is not easy. Let’s be real – you cannot focus on two super-important tasks at the same time. It may be tempting to ignore dull tasks and focus on exciting personal holiday errands. Eventually, your performance at work will suffer. To avoid that, you need to separate private and professional responsibilities.
For starters, make sure your friends and family understand your work schedule. Specify the times of day when you will not be able to chat with them or answer their calls. Only that way will you be able to get quality work done.
Wrapping up (pun intended)
Staying productive during the holiday season seems like science fiction. However, the right tips and tools can do wonders for your performance at work. With these simple hacks, you will perform your tasks more efficiently and yet, have enough time to enjoy holidays with your dearest ones.
How do you eliminate distractions and stay productive during the holidays?