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How to be productive on holiday
While it’s supposed to be a time to recharge and relax, the reality is, work often bleeds into time off – especially as technology enables us to be constantly connected. If you’ve managed to get away from the office without anything on your to-do list, then we applaud your work style. If, however, there are going to be a few annoying interruptions – like finishing off a key presentation, or attending an important meeting, then you’ll only get more stressed if you don’t prepare for the inevitable (which kind of negates the point of getting away!)
Here are a few tips to get you through.
Limit your to do list. If you normally attack five big tasks a day, try to limit it to three or four. That will give you time to finish your work—along with time to enjoy holiday gatherings and activities.
Take fewer meetings. With most people on vacation, it’s difficult to get the right people in the room during the holidays. Schedule a Zoom call at a regular time everyday if you need to – and in the morning, so that you get it over with. Or simply, don’t worry about it. Use the phone, email, or chat messages to communicate. You might find you get work done faster anyway.
Set aside one day to work. Make sure you tell your employees, colleagues or clients that this is the ONE day they can get in touch with you. Try to be organised and send out a schedule in advance so that people know what to expect and prepare for which will help cut dead time out of your meetings.
Cut back on emailing. You don’t have to check your email every few minutes. They are always going to be there, and it doesn’t take long to end up wasting time that could be spent doing more productively. Set aside a window of time each day for checking emails, and then ignore them for the rest of the day.
Put your out of office ON. Let people know when you will (and will not be) available—along with why. Make sure you sound professional and don’t forget to proofread what you’ve written.
Take advantage of the AM hours Don’t sleep your days away. Get up early and get a lot of stuff done while everyone else is sleeping. By the time everyone else is up, you’ll have finished your to do list, leaving time to spend with family and friends.
Make advance reservations If you are planning on a trip, or even a dinner, make the reservations as far in advance as possible. That way, you know that there will be a place reserved for you and your guests.
Take time for you. Take some time to do something you have been wanting to do, even if it’s just time to read a book. Holidays are a great time to recharge and do something that will make you happy and take one more thing off your personal list of things that you have always wanted to do.
Of course, the last point is the most important. Holidays are to relax and recuperate so that when you are finally back in the office, you are on top form and ready for the week ahead.