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Stuck Working During the Holidays? 7 Tips for Staying Focused

Posted by Natalie Pike on December 26, 2014

It's the day after Christmas and you are already back at your desk. More than half of your team is out on vacation and the office is pretty much a ghost town. All you can really think about is being back home, spending time with your family and curling up on the couch to watch A Christmas Story...again.

However, you're in the office for a reason. There must be some work that needs to get done. Here are seven tips on how to stay focused during the holidays.

1. Clear your mind

Make a list. I'm sure your'e feeling overwhelmed and having a hard time focusing on what needs to get done. Jot down two sets of bullet points, personal and professional, of things you need to complete before heading back home for the weekend. Get the tasks out of your head and check them off as you finish them.

2. Don't multitask

Like I said earlier, make two separate lists for things you want to get done--one for your personal life and one for your professional life. Say you need to buy one more gift for your cousin that you'll see this weekend, but you also need to listen in on a conference call. Online shopping while taking detailed notes isn't the smartest idea.

3. Avoid procrastination  thumbsupholiday

Although it may not always feel like it, the holidays don't creep up on us. They happen every single year at the same exact time. Prepare for this busy time earlier in the year. Finish those year-end projects in November or earlier in December. Yes, it may feel overwhelming at the time, but believe me, you'll be happy you did so when the holiday finally arrives. 

4. Don't work from home

During the holidays, home should strictly mean personal time to spend with family and friends. There's nothing worse than a family member coming home and watching them sit on their computer all day. They might as well be at work. Finish your work in a timely manner so you're not tempted to bring it home. 

5. Watch your diet and exercise

I know. This one kind of sticks out like a sore thumb compared to the rest, but it's important. Yes, it's extremely difficult to avoid the plate of homemade peppermint bark sitting in the kitchen, but try to take one piece versus the five you want. Taking care of your body during this time will help with motivation and focus.

6. Don't over-commit

With all of the holiday parties, shopping and traveling opportunities, it's difficult to say "no" to certain things. Don't feel like you need to go to your brother's best friend's sister's holiday party. Prioritize your events so you don't feel overwhelmed at work.

7. Remember what the holidays are all about  

The holiday season is about family, happiness and celebration. Try not to forget that. A chaotic season is entirely in your hands. Plan ahead and make it a priority to be focused and motivated for all the years to come. 

It's tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're all alone in a barren office the day after Christmas. Take these seven tips into consideration and we promise you'll be happier, more productive and feeling satisfied before you head back home for the weekend. 

Maybe you're stuck in the office, but have nothing to do. Study up and check out these 51 ways to create a great team! Oh, and hey...it's free!

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Employee Engagement

Natalie Pike

About the Author

Natalie is Hireology's Inbound Marketing Coordinator. Her favorite topics to write about are how to hire millennials, building a strong company culture, and employee engagement. She is a Purdue University graduate (Boiler up!), social media junkie and avid iced coffee drinker.