Productivity & Festivity: 6 Tips for Handling Holidays in the Workplace

The decorations are up, the promotional items and corporate gifts have been ordered, and the office party is booked – it’s that time of year in the workplace! Fun times are ahead, but there’s still work to be done, which means you may need to make a few adjustments to keep things running smoothly. Thankfully, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to effectively manage holidays in the workplace. Start by implementing the following six tips:

1. Book Your Vacation Time

Less than 50% of US workers use up all their vacation days. This is counter-productive because humans need to rest if we want to be able to perform at our best. Without proper time off, you can end up burnt out, which is no good for you, and far less productive, which is no good for your team. 

The holidays are, of course,  some of the most popular times for employees to take their vacation days. So it’s important to not only book vacation time but to book it nice and early so you get the dates that suit you best. 

2. Keep a Holiday Calendar

Utilize a shared calendar that includes all work-related dates, staff vacation days, and task timelines. This will help you plan and manage your work over the holidays. If you use color coding, it’ll also ensure you can find the information you need at a glance. 

Shared calendars are more suitable than individual ones during holiday periods because they ensure the whole team is still able to collaborate and meet deadlines. You’ll also know you have adequate cover as people head off for their respective holidays, so there should be no missed deadlines or last-minute crises. 

3. Eat the Frog

The Eat The Frog method involves doing each day’s most difficult or time-consuming task first. That way, you don’t spend the day avoiding or stressing over it. Instead, you can ride the sense of accomplishment through the rest of your work day. It’s the perfect productivity method for times when you’re probably highly distracted by holiday preparations. 

4. Get Some Noise Cancelling Headphones

Science tells us that our ability to focus and process information is significantly reduced when we’re exposed to loud background noise. Holidays and noisiness go hand-in-hand, even in the office, so you may wish to arm yourself with some noise-canceling headphones. As long as you don’t need to be actively listening to anything, you can block out all those sounds and get your work done. 

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Say No

A high number of participants in a recent study said they prefer to avoid Christmas gatherings. Their reasons included such things as social anxiety, exhaustion from the holiday period, the cost of the gathering, being self-conscious, and feeling pressure to have fun. Lots of people also want to avoid these gatherings because of their holiday workload. 

Consistently going to social events whilst you’re still working can be so exhausting, and there’s no getting around the fact that it will negatively impact your productivity. This is especially true if you drink and suffer hangovers, which can be true killers of productivity. So, don’t be shy about turning down any invites you’re really not excited about.  

6. Define Those Boundaries

Keeping clear boundaries between work and personal time can be hard, especially during the holidays. It’s helpful to turn off notifications after your workday ends, helping you recharge and manage client and manager expectations. These clean breaks from work will give you valuable downtime, increasing your focus and productivity when you return to your desk. 

With the tips above and a bit of self-care, you can remain productive, organized, and happy over the holiday period. 

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