This post is a part of Nicole Carman’s mental health-related holiday post series, “Taking Care of your Mental Health during the Holiday Season.” It was written and contributed to this post series by Monique, who is a mental health blogger I have gotten to know on Twitter.
To see the post line-up for the previous and remaining posts in this series, please visit this page on Nicole’s blog, Navigating Darkness. If you enjoy this post, please comment and consider sharing it on social media!
Getting your work done can be hard. Especially when holiday season comes around. Who wants to tie up loose ends at work when they could be snuggling up to their significant other with a hot cup of cocoa, or taking that afternoon nap with your favorite pupper? Not me!
That’s why organizing your to-dos, both work-related and personal, is an essential start to the holiday season. Here’s how to do just that with the ultimate holiday checklist for both work and play.
Divide and Conquer
Okay, first I have to get clarification on this report for our client. Let’s email him…wait…A.C. Moore has a sale on what?!
Stop right there, you arts and crafts-enthusiast! Putting aside the moral question of shopping while on the clock, getting distracted and mixing work and play only serves to drag out the task at hand. When holiday season comes around, it’s especially important to dig deep into work productively.
According to Sandra Chapman, PhD., “Frequently switching between tasks overloads the brain and makes you less efficient,” (Forbes). We’ve heard it time and time again: multi-tasking just doesn’t work. Not convinced? Psychology Today finds that multitasking can result in 40 percent loss of productivity. In experiments discussed by the American Psychological Association, participants in studies were found to always lose time when switching between multiple tasks.
That doesn’t make single-tasking easy. But taking steps to write down your work-related tasks separately from your leisure and home to-dos can be the first step to staying on top of one area at a time.
Trick-and treat yourself into productivity
So you know that focusing on one task at a time is the way to go. But how will you actually convince yourself to do it? Especially when more fun tasks, like decorating and gift-shopping are right around the corner? Discipline isn’t easy!
That’s why setting small milestone goals as well as rewards for achieving them is so essential. Next time you have a daunting task to complete, break it into smaller steps and determine small rewards for yourself along the way. Award-winning author Gretchen Rubin wrote on Pysch Central, “Studies show that people who got a little treat…gained in self-control… If I give more to myself, I can ask more from myself.”
Needing motivation is natural. Don’t feel bad for needing a little extra reward to push you to being productive. You got this!
Set your holiday break and stick to it
Last but not least, don’t forget to set your holiday break schedule and stick to it. At the end of the day, the holidays are for you, self-care, and time with loved ones. Get your work done productively, but don’t let it take over time with those that matter most.
Have your time off set at work? Make sure your time boundaries are sealed tight during the last few days before the holiday break. Keep your work equipment in the office if you can over the holidays, and focus on the now with your family this winter. Happy Holidays!