If you find it more difficult to get stuff done at work during the holiday season, you’re not alone: according to one Accountemps survey, 34 percent of senior managers say their employees are less productive around the holidays. Blame the weather, or the fewer number of workdays, or the temptation to shop instead of work, but one thing is clear: if you want to close out the year on a high note, you’re going to have to work smart as well as hard.
(Photo Credit: not_really_art/Flickr)
1. Plan ahead.
It’s a little late to get ahead of the game in terms of holiday plans, but you can still prevent scheduling disasters by looking at all your responsibilities, and making a plan for who is covering what. Then, communicate your plans with everyone who needs to know, including your manager, clients, team members, and colleagues in other departments who might need to know what you’re up to.
If you’re a manager, now’s the time to get an answer from higher ups about the official close of business around the holidays. People need time off; they also need to know when that time off will be occurring, preferably with enough notice to finalize their plans.
2. Take care of your health.
How many new years have you started feeling like you’ve run a marathon using nothing but sugar cookies as fuel? Don’t run yourself ragged this year. While you’re making your holiday schedule, remember to plan time for rest, exercise, and non-baked-good-based nutrition. This is especially important for folks who work in offices, and have more end-of-year deadlines and edible holiday gifts than opportunities to go out and get the occasional salad.
3. Be good to your colleagues.
If you’re a manager, find ways to recognize your reports, even if your company doesn’t go in for the whole holiday party routine. This can be as simple as a thank-you card or a small gift, or as complex as organizing a team potluck. Just saying thanks never goes amiss.
If you’re not a manager, you can still spread the holiday spirit by being considerate of your colleagues. Clean up after yourself in the kitchen, or help others see family members far away by offering to cover their shifts. When all else fails, just trying to be pleasant during the most wonderfully stressful time of the year always helps.
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