Juggling work during the holidays? Don’t worry. You can still remain productive while enjoying the parties, shopping, travel, and seasonal festivities. While some companies shut down during the holidays, others have their elves working up to the very last minute in the office or remotely to meet deadlines. Balancing important deadlines and taking the time to celebrate the holiday cheer is key. It’s important to plan ahead, so you can stay on top of things during the busy season, no matter where you are logging in.
Here are a few secrets we follow in order to stay focused when we are working remotely, while still having the ability to enjoy all of the delights during the holiday season.
Manage Your Deadlines Early
There are plenty of events on your social calendar and additional tasks added to your work list this month. Communication with your clients and fellow coworkers is crucial when it comes to planning ahead. Now is the time to stay proactive. Managing your deadlines early and working ahead will allow you more time to relax when the holiday arrives.
Shop Before the Holidays
As your work list is piling up, your personal list will also be getting longer by the day. Plan ahead and have your to-do list complete so you can focus on work and spending time with others during the hustle and bustle.
Here are some things you can check off your list:
- Purchase your flights/arrange travel
- Arrange child and pet care
- Purchase gifts
- Wrap gifts
- Plan your work days and time needed for tasks around social events
- Search for coffee shops or ask family members about access to WiFi and store those WiFi passwords in your notes section of your phone in advance
Take Some Quiet Time and Close the Door
Let’s face it, working during the holidays is a lot more difficult. It can be even more difficult to work remotely from home with so many distractions. Finding a quiet place to close the door and knock out your work is helpful when you are trying to stay focused. Before the holiday, share with your family, friends and loved ones what times you may need to scoot out into a quiet space and remove yourself from the fun. This way they can plan accordingly around your quiet time for meals, shopping, gift opening, and games, so you don’t miss a thing!
Ask For What You Need
Most people in your life are willing to support you if you are in need of more time with family or more time behind your computer screen. If you are traveling on a day of a busy deadline or the emails keep flowing to your inbox, reach out to a fellow employee and ask them for help. More than likely a coworker, supervisor, or client will be understanding of your schedule during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
Draw a Line on Time On and Off
Drawing a line to keep yourself from overworking during time off can be challenging. It can be difficult to enjoy personal matters when you have a list of to-do’s on your mind. Whether you are working from home, a coffee shop, or a relatives house, it’s important to plan when you will be opening and closing up shop.
- Set an alarm for when you should close your laptop
- Add your work times to a Google calendar for fellow coworkers to observe
- Turn off email and Slack notifications on your phone during off times
- Schedule events with family or friends right after your allotted work time to force yourself to stop and take a break
It’s the time of year to balance family time and festivities, so sharing your work availability with others will help you to fully enjoy those unplugged moments. The stress of emails or Slack messages can be addressed once you turn your time back on and focus solely on the tasks at hand.
Jobs, deadlines, and working remotely can get stressful over the holidays but staying on top of your workload is crucial. You are in control of your time, health, and relaxation during a season that can feel overwhelming. Work to manage your deadlines ahead, find a quiet space, ask for help when needed, check off that list, and pick your times to unplug and enjoy! Afterall, no one wants an overworked Grinch during social or family time. Are you working remotely this holiday season? If so, share some of your stories and tips with us!