How to Stay on Task at Work During a Busy Holiday Season

The holidays are a busy time. Trying to keep track of the parties, the shopping, and the travel arrangements can be a challenge. Trying to stay focused at work during the holiday season might be the biggest obstacle of all. The stress of holidays leads to distractions at work and a loss of productivity. The holidays are also one of the most popular vacation times of the year. With all these hurdles during the holidays, how can you stay on task?

Six Ways to Stay Focused On Work This Holiday Season


Leave Personal Obligations at Home

Probably the most distracting thing during the holiday season is personal holiday errands. Leave them for later and do not bring them to work. It is impossible to focus on two things as one will ultimately cause the other to suffer. For efficiency, you must separate these two areas of your life. If you must plan personal events, perhaps you can take a PTO day to tackle your holiday preparations.


Stay Organized

Take some time before the holiday rush and make a list of the things you need to accomplish. Upon completion, schedule a few items per day from the list. The comprehensive list will ease your mind as you break up list items into small, manageable pieces. Writing your thoughts out will make them appear much less intimidating than keeping them in your head.


Avoid Multitasking

At work, you probably work on several projects at once. However, now it is time to choose which projects are multitasking friendly. You might think that cramming three projects into one workday will save you time for holiday planning, but ultimately you will only increase the likelihood of making a mistake. You might even have to redo the work, which will waste more time. For maximum productivity, tackle your projects one at a time.


Limit Distractions

Are you daydreaming about the upcoming holiday party? Perhaps you are wondering what present to purchase for your spouse? All employees face distractions at work, but during the holiday season, distraction is particularly prevalent. Remove things from your work area that distract you. Put the items away and save them for the new year. Do you spend too much time replying to emails? Block off a specific time each day to open your inbox. Set up desktop alerts for emails from your boss or important clients.


Avoid Overcommitment

Yes, volunteering shows initiative and flexibility. However, the holidays are not the best time to schedule extra work for yourself. Resist the urge to take on new tasks. Tell your team that you have a limited amount of time to devote to work projects, and you need the remaining time to take care of holiday responsibilities. Most of your colleagues will understand as they are likely in the same position. Remember that overcommitment applies to holiday activities too. You might need to decline an invitation to work or a private holiday party.


Take Care of Yourself

Exercise clears the mind and helps you limit your distractions at work. If your holiday responsibilities keep you from the gym, do not fret; you can still find creative ways to move. Walk around the building, park your car further from the building, or use the stairs instead of the elevator. Consider yoga or meditation and get plenty of sleep.


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