It is no secret that during the last month of the year most of us struggle to stay motivated and productive at work. Some of us may feel the added pressure of family visiting, feel intimidated by shopping for gifts and disheartened by tight deadlines before the office closes for the year.
You are not alone!
There are multiple reasons for a decrease in motivation and productivity during the festive season. It includes watching your colleagues counting down to their annual leave, a change in demands for deliverables at work and even an increased intake of sugary treats…
Too many demands at the end of the year?
These tips are for you!
Wrapping it up at the end of the year with the extra demands the festive season brings, can be stressful for even the most well-organised person. Add to that the distractions of having to buy gifts, office parties and family arriving and you have a recipe for a stressful time at work and at home. Having to divide your attention and focus so extensively, makes it even harder to get through tasks and bring projects to completion.
Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.
When you find your focus slipping away or you're having trouble keeping your head on work, these tips can help you stay on track:
- Learn to say no and accept only the meetings (and calls) that are important
It is so easy to get roped into meetings where your presence isn’t really needed. Review the agenda and speak to the organiser or decline the meeting invite. The same goes for lunch invites and social activities that take you away from closing out your year…
- Limit your task list and stop over-committing
If you have an endless list of tasks, you may get anxious trying to multitask. Multitasking, while great in theory, isn't as effective in practice. Choose to prioritise and schedule tasks into your planner or diary. Then stick to your plan and celebrate your commitment as you tick off completed tasks from your list.
- Lean on your colleagues
You don’t need to do it all by yourself. Learning to delegate is an essential life skill, and utilising this skill to get through the festive season will help you to get through your demands at year end. Ask your colleagues for help and delegate tasks.
- Use your out-of-office notification
If you don't communicate your availability, you will be stressed by the requests and emails arriving in your inbox and senders of those requests have an expectation of your response. By setting boundaries of when you will be available you will create expectations for colleagues that may need your input.
Actively free up time to reflect on the year gone by and to plan for the year ahead. Your future self will thank you for it.
- Take care of you
Make sure you leave time for yourself to relax, exercise and spend time with family. Don’t fall into the trap of taking work home and not leaving any time for yourself. Time out does not need to be hours or days. It could be a 15 minute soak in a bubble bath, reading a chapter in a spy novel, playing a board game with family or phoning a friend. Doing little things every day is how you take care of you.
There you have it, that’s how you can make working this festive season work for you – while still enjoying the festivities.
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About the author:
Usha Maharaj CA(SA) is an Executive and Leadership Coach in South Africa who went from small town trainee accountant to Director in a Big-4 audit firm. Her 16+ year corporate career had all of the highs and lows of a high performing workplace where she shattered setbacks, crushed challenges and conquered fears to enjoy a highly successful career. She now inspires ambitious individuals and executives to reach their own highest level of influence in corporate South Africa.
Find out more at www.ushamaharaj.com.