It’s the most wonderful time of the year . . . to be easily distracted from important work. As fun and exciting as the holidays are, it can stress even the most focused professional. You’ve got gifts to buy, parties to plan, and end-of-the-year projects breathing down your neck. Meanwhile, the days grow ever shorter and the itch to get out of the office can be greater now than any other time of year. Fear not, though. Here are a few tips to stay on top of your workload so that you can enjoy your days away from the office – and not regret them.
Make a plan
Are you the type who likes to fly by the seat of their pants? Don’t be like that. At least not during the most hectic time of the year. Take some time to carefully plot out your responsibilities, and assign priority to the most essential. It might sound counter-productive when you’ve got so much on your plate, but a well-conceived outline will come in handy when you’re spinning and struggling to remember that super-important-thing-to-do that you can’t seem to recall.
If you can do two things at once – do them. Bust out your laptop and respond to a few emails while you’re at lunch. Combine meetings with your coworkers to save time. Buy three gifts from the same online store and congratulate yourself when you see that order fulfillment email come through. Sure, not everything can be crunched and crammed together – but consolidating the little things will give you more time to focus on the important stuff.
Understanding when to micromanage something and when to delegate a task is an important component of good leadership. And it’s absolutely crucial if you need to get stuff done on a deadline. It’s also a great way to develop the skills of those around you. Trust in your coworkers and your friends to help you out in a jam. Without them, you’re sure to wind up overwhelmed and sweating it out.
Remember, you’re not at your best when you’re frazzled. Don’t stay up into the night fretting about what you can’t control – it’ll have a detrimental effect on your productivity. And know that if you’re feeling stressed, so is ninety-nine percent of the population. People are understanding, and there’s no shame in asking for time off to get your head back above water. It’ll do you – and those around you – a power of good.