The Holidays are coming up, and you were just informed that you will be stuck at the office or at the store, while everyone is out enjoying the festive time with their loved ones. It’s a hypothetical scenario but nevertheless, taken from real life. Though you may be tempted to resign on the spot, quitting your job is not the answer. So, let’s move to the next step; the realistic one. Make a very organized plan that will serve as your guide to sanity.
1. Be specific
Create a to-do list and prioritize tasks. Write down exactly what must be done before the end of the year, and in which order. Then, share it with your work team and set the deadlines, promising to each other that you will stick to them. The soonest you start working on these, the more you minimize the risk of having to work late on Christmas Eve. Our brains can only be attentive on a limited amount of information for a limited amount of time, so working in chunks might be the perfect trick to keep you focused.
Useful Tip: Devote 30-60 minutes to each task and work hard during that time, knowing that you can take a short break after. Breaks are important, in order to clear up your mind and recharge your batteries. Get up and about to have a quick coffee, walk a little bit in the office, stretch and return to your task after a few minutes.
2. It’s not Christmas yet
If you want to freely have fun over the Holidays, you have to power through and really get your work done the days leading up to the time off. Steer clear of your social media accounts while working, because you might get carried away and frustrated in case you see other people having fun while on their holidays. Instead, stay focused and keep reminding yourself that all this effort will soon be rewarded… a carefree time away!
Useful tip: Make another task calendar for your personal needs and errands. If your free time is limited, make the best of it. Be organized even for the little things like sending your Christmas cards, finding festive recipes, booking all your appointments in the hair saloon, beautician, dog spa and of course do not forget to buy all the gifts you need. Don’t attempt to do these whilst still at work. Create ample opportunities to run all your errands in a timely manner.
3. Preparation makes you responsible
Prior to leaving the office for the day, try to make some minor but important preparations for the next day at work. Make some last phone calls and arrange meetings if it’s necessary, or jot down some notes/reminders. These will save you time in the morning. You will have the opportunity to start working immediately and finish on time. No extra working hours for you maybe!
If all else fails, keep in mind that you’re not the only person in this predicament. Chances are, just down the hall from you, you have a colleague in the same boat. Power by numbers, we say! Keep each other motivated, and always remember to keep a positive attitude. This too shall pass!