How to stay productive at work during the week between Christmas and New Years

How to stay productive at work during the week between Christmas and New Years

December 9, 2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! It’s the holiday season and that means lots of holiday parties and events at work or at home, which can make it very easy to get distracted and not get as much done as you want to during the work week between Christmas and New Years. The holiday season is a great time of the year not only for all of the holiday festivities, but it’s also a great time to remain focused on those projects you have left for the year and get a jumpstart on those 2019 projects.

Believe it or not Christmas week can be the most productive time of year for workers.

While more than one in four (29%) workers told a recent OfficePulse survey that working the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is a “waste of time,” productivity numbers don’t lie. And while getting the day off for Christmas — let alone the entire week — is wishful thinking for workers in many industries, the file sharing service Egnyte analyzed more than 3 billion activities from thousands of businesses worldwide last year to see whether work slowed around the holidays. They found that overall business productivity only dropped 5% between Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. In fact, productivity even increased 25% in business services, healthcare, education, media and entertainment.

That’s because most offices (84%) will remain open during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day this year, and less than 1% are closing early, according to a Society for Human Resource Management Holiday Schedules Survey. But 57% of respondents said their companies sweeten the deal by offering some kind of overtime pay for working on a holiday when the organization would normally be closed.

So, while you may be feeling like it’s impossible to be productive during this coming week, we’re here to tell you that you can be and in fact, you can turn it into a time to be focused on getting ahead! Keep reading for 6 tips on how you can be productive at work this week.

1. Write Down Goals for the Week

First things first, knowing what your goals are for the week and setting these beforehand can make a HUGE difference for your productivity. By setting goals, you are also setting your intentions for the work week. Is there something that you’ve been putting off for awhile? Or is there something you could do that will help you be more productive throughout 2019? Make these goals for yourself! Another quick tip: try to tackle these goals early on in the week! Your Friday self will thank you for tackling those bigger projects early on in the week.

2. Plan for 2019

Like we mentioned in the point above, this is the perfect time to start planning for 2019 if you haven’t done so already. While many people might take the week between Christmas and New Years off, we’ve found that the time when it’s quiet in the office is perfect to focus on planning the projects and goals for 2019. It’s a huge help once you are getting back into the swing of things in the new year after the festivities are over and it can really set you up for success in the new year.

So, mark off time during the work week to do some planning for 2019! Even if it’s just for a half hour, it will help you have a more productive year in 2019.

3. Time Block Your Day

Time-blocking has been a game-changer for many who want to be more productive! By blocking off time throughout the day for specific tasks/projects, you will be able to get more done in the day since you are making sure that you tackle specific tasks within the time block that you’ve set for yourself and limit your distractions (more on that below). Time blocking has proven to be very effective for many and in an article written for a productivity Website it’s been suggested that time-blocking could be a replacement for the to-do list as it not only identifies tasks, but it enables you to estimate the time it will take for such tasks.

4. Prepare for your goal implementation strategy

It’s that time of the year again, at least for a lot of companies. By now you’ve gone through the annual end of the year performance review! Whether you were the one being evaluated or giving the evaluation, the immediate aftermath of the annual performance review process is the perfect time to plan your strategy on implementing your goals for the new year. Hopefully you already have your list on what you’d like to accomplish during the coming year. If not, get to it! Preparing your strategy ahead of time will not only impress your boss, if you are the boss it will impress your employee, and it will also make you feel prepared as you head into 2019.

5. Minimize Distractions

During the holidays, it can be so easy to get distracted by all of the holiday festivities and discussions going on around the office. It’s totally fine to be involved in these festivities, but make sure that you put a plan in place to minimize other distractions throughout the workday so you can make sure you achieve that to do list you wrote for yourself.

If you feel like your phone is ringing off the hook this holiday season, then try putting your phone on airplane mode or “do not disturb” for an hour or two so you can focus on those high priority projects you need to get done!

And by all means stay off of social media! Whether you are the employer or employee, “five minutes” on Facebook or Instagram can easily turn into 30 minutes or more. Noty only are you killing your productivity, but you’re hurting your business. There’s plenty of social time during non-business hours.

6. Enjoy Yourself & Have Fun!

This is such a wonderful time of the year, so don’t forget to take some time and have fun. By staying focused on your to-do list during this time of the year, it will help give you more time to enjoy the holiday parties and festivities!