This may come as a surprise to you, but the holiday season is here. That means holiday music, eggnog, family get-togethers and the many yearly traditions will soon be all around us. It can be difficult to not daydream at work or lick your chops at the thought of all the food you will consume. However, this time of year, it can be extremely challenging for employees to stay productive. In fact, 62 percent of companies reported that workplace productivity takes a dip during the holiday season.
So, as this busy season approaches and deadlines are coming up, it’s necessary to make the most out of each working day. Everyone knows the cliché tips and tricks to stay productive like “get organized!” or “check your emails”. However, we decided to compile a list of four practical and specific best practices to help you become more efficient and productive through the holiday stretch.
1. Utilize Time Management Apps
Don’t just “get organized”, use tangible tools to effectively manage your day. Take advantage of premier calendar applications that sync all of your existing schedules and meeting invites on one page to give you a direct look at what your day looks like. On top of that, these tools give you easy, one-click access to meetings, which enables you to join calls hassle free. Additionally, you can receive directions to offsite meetings, local weather, LinkedIn profiles, and notifications. Consider using Agenday and its features that will do the organizing for you and help you focus on other important tasks this time of year.
2. Take PTO Instead of Just Working from Home
Although mobile devices make it so much easier to work from home, try not to fall for the holiday season trap. It can be extremely easy to get distracted when family and loved ones are all gathered, especially when you haven’t seen them in a while. Furthermore, when you are home for the holidays, your attention should be focused on spending quality time with them. If working from home will be a distraction, consider using those days as paid time off (PTO).
3. Walk to the Nearest Coffee Shop
For all of those Starbucks lovers out there, this should be the highlight of your day. Although coffee may be the end goal of the walk, the point is to get up and move around. A recent study showed that standing up and walking around for five minutes every hour during the workday could lift your mood and combat lethargy without reducing focus and attention. Don’t be afraid to take these energy-boosting walks, so that when you get back to your desk you are revitalized and ready to go. Also, who doesn’t love a Pumpkin Spiced Latte?
4. Decline More Meeting Invites
It’s easy to get into the habit of letting meetings take hold of our schedules this time of year. It can be challenging to get consistent work done when meetings pop up left and right. Take a minute to analyze your meetings for the week. Are there some that can be downsized to email conversations, instead? Can you shorten the length of the necessary meetings to 10-15 minutes? It’s estimated, in America alone, over $37B is lost in unnecessary meetings every year. These wasted meeting moments can escalate our frustrations during the holiday season and can distract us from other important work.
The holiday season may be just getting started, but there are still long weeks ahead. These four unique tips can help you to become more productive through the added pressures of November and December.