The holidays are right around the corner, and you know what that means: it’s the most wonderful time of the year once again!
For entrepreneurs, it can also be the time of year where you’re up against a bit of a conundrum: you’ve still got work to do but, while everyone else is having fun and getting festive, your desire to check boxes off your to-do list drops lower than December temperatures in Toronto.
So, how do you stay productive and inspired throughout the holiday season when all you want to do is relax?
We’ve got a couple of slumpbreakers to help supercharge your motivation.
1. Leniently Leverage Good and Bad Behaviour
First thing’s first: when you think of the holidays, what comes to mind?
If you’re like us, it’s probably…
- Snowy days outside
- Staying indoors where it’s cozy and warm
- Eating great food
- Enjoying delicious drinks
- Spending time with your favourite people
And sometimes, we have so much fun during the holidays that we almost need to recover in the new year.
Because, as much as we don’t like to admit it (and much to the dismay of Santa), sometimes the holidays mean embracing our “bad” behaviours and getting a little overindulgent.
Want to stay productive? Embrace that “bad” behaviour and use it to motivate your good behaviour.
Instead of trying to keep a rigid routine throughout the holidays, try to embrace and enjoy that it’s an “anything goes” time of year.
Midday holiday cocktails on a Tuesday? Go for it.
Holiday chocolate at breakfast? Have at it.
Extra-long lunches at one of the best local restaurants near King West or Camden Street? Soak it in!
But whatever indiscretions you allow for yourself, make sure to offset them by staying productive at work.
That’s the trade-off.
2. Get Steadfast About Off-Days
Everyone needs days off during the holidays. The only question is how many you take and when.
So, make sure you set aside a few days off for yourself and let everyone know when they’ll be.
Proactively tell your customers, clients, and colleagues. Fire up that out-of-office email reminder. And, most importantly, use those days to disconnect entirely.
Work email came in? Phone’s blowing up?
In the words of Allan from The Hangover, “Don’t touch it! Doooon’t even look at it.”
If you want any hope of staying productive on the days where you do work during the holidays, you need to give yourself time to relax and unwind as well.
Balance, young grasshopper.
3. Venture Forth Into the Great White Yonder
What’s less motivating than working from home? Working from home during the holidays when everyone else is relaxing and having fun.
The weather might be wintery outside, but don’t stay home if you want to work.
Get. Out. Of. The. House.
When you’re there, the temptation to sleep in, sip rum and eggnog, or have a holiday movie marathon is too strong for any human to reasonably resist.
Instead, go to a place where you’ll be surrounded by other professionals diligently grinding their way through the holidays--and having a great time together while doing so.
4. Close Down That Online Shopping Browser Tab
A few years ago, a study found that our counterparts south of the border spend nearly two hours per day online shopping at work.
We can only imagine that this number skyrockets during the holidays.
What’s our point?
If you want to stay productive during the holidays, don’t waste your workday shopping online.
Of course, you need to get gifts for everyone (and for yourself because has anyone ever holiday shopped and not gotten something for themselves as well?), but make sure you’re banking out time to do so when it won’t get in the way of you getting your work done.
5. Use Downtime for Big Things
If you find things slowing down during the holidays but you still want to keep a foot on the gas, tackle some big, time-consuming goals or projects with your newfound free time.
When’s the last time you had a full workday, uninterrupted by meetings or phone calls, to tackle something big and important?
If you don’t have any big projects or goals to work on, take time to strategize on what you want to achieve next year and how you’re gonna make it happen.
6. Shut It Down Rather Than Wasting Time
The only thing worse than being unproductive at work during the holidays is forcing yourself to sit at your desk and waste time when you’re being unproductive at work during the holidays.
Let’s be honest: sometimes you’re just not going to want to do it. Motivation slips. Inspiration lacks. And trying to achieve a single thing seems more daunting than Santa’s delivery route.
And when those times come, just shut it down for the day and go get festive.
Sitting around staring at a blank screen will just serve to frustrate you. Instead, take the time to do something fun and come back in a good headspace tomorrow.
7. Prioritize the Right Things
We don’t want to sound preachy because we love working hard as much as all of you do. But it’s also important to prioritize certain things sometimes.
The last few holiday seasons have been weird because of the pandemic. And this time around, it seems we might actually get to have a holiday that feels somewhat normal.
So, if you ask us, you’ve got your entire life to work. But you may only have a few chances to make incredible holiday memories with the people who matter most to you. Make sure you’re prioritizing what’s important during the holidays, not just what feels pressing.
As December rolls around, there’s a lot of fun to be had and, most likely, a lot of work to get done. So, do your best to stay productive but remember to let the good times roll.
Oh, and if you’re looking for a festive present for yourself, we’d recommend a 21-day trial at Project Spaces to help you stay inspired during the holiday season. It’s the best gift you’ll ever give yourself.
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