The holidays are here! Love them or hate them, this time of year brings with it many wonderful things. It’s a great time to reconnect with loved ones, make memories, and spend some time relaxing, reflecting, and planning.
It’s also a season of abundant distractions. “It was the holidays” seems to be a convenient reason for end of the year dips in productivity.
Many times people arrive at the end of the year and drag themselves across the finish line. The holidays provide tempting distraction, they get discouraged because they got sidetracked, and they rather skid into the end of the year without much intention. They resolve that the start of the coming year will be different – we just need to get through the holidays.
What a crummy way to start the coming year!
You still have plenty of time to finish the year strong. In fact, you have the potential to make the end of the year your best quarter yet. It just requires focus and planning.
There is still room at the end of the year to improve your time management skills. If you can command your time when you have a lot of extra things to do, you can do it anytime.
So let’s look at this. The “holidays” are only two days. Two days. Aside from the two holidays, there are 59 other days between November and December with which to be productive! So how can one justify two single days as being the catalyst for slowed momentum? And how can you make sure those extra days don’t get stolen away from you?
Here is the secret: if you have nothing planned, you’ll get distracted. “The holidays” will have gotten the best of you.
So here are some tips for staying focused and commanding your time during the holidays, so you can finish strong.
- Determine what helps you stay focused. If you use a planner, digital calendar, or other time management tool, make sure you spend a little extra time filling it in. Are you naturally focused? Good – add a time management tool anyways just in case.
- Say no to things. Decide what you will do and what you won’t ahead of time. Put activities in your calendar that you want to have there, and say no to everything else. Period.
- Write down everything you need to do. Everything that needs your attention during the season should be planned, not flippantly done at the last minute. Do you have family coming to town that you need to set aside time for? Do you need to take off a few hours to get holiday shopping done? Write it all out, and schedule it.
- Define a set amount of time that you will give what you want to the holiday season, and stick with it. In addition, define a set amount of time that you will give to your work, and stick with it.
- Keep your long term goals in front of you. If you know you’re prone to distractions during this time, find a way to keep your goals that last past December 25th in front of you. If you need to set reminders on your phone, do it. Put a picture up. Do what it takes to keep your focus during this time.
Enjoy the upcoming months. Make good memories with your families and friends. But let them be your reason to be productive – not the reason you weren’t.