How to Be Productive During Holiday Insanity
The end each year is full of a thousand things to do. Not only do many people around the world celebrate holidays in December, but we also fill our lives with other end-of-year activities, to-do's, plans for the coming fresh year, travel, family and more.
This overload of tasks can make it tricky to feel like you are getting anything done at all! And specifically for those in the entrepreneurial world, it can be incredibly difficult to find the time you need to get your business tasks done among the cookie decorating and family conversation.
I feel this pressure right now and took some time to sit down and think of creative, organized, and productive ways of handling this situation. I thought it would be fun to share with all of you in case they can come in handy during the next few weeks of madness.
Make Yourself a List (and check it twice :))
The very first thing to do when you feel yourself getting into a holiday tisy is to sit down and make yourself a list of everything you want to get done.
I find it so relieving to get everything out of my head and on paper. When it is just floating around in my brain I am constantly worried about forgetting something important. It is wonderful to put that task on a physical lists so you know you can always come back and be reminded.
I like to keep one big master "To Conquer List" of everything I need to get done (and dates I'd like to have it done by if possible) so that I can see it all and feel that incredible satisfaction when I get to check something off. Make sure to check out my To Conquer List resource to help you out!
I used to use this technique during the last few weeks of each semester in college. I would write down absolutely everything that needed to be completed by the end of the term and work my butt off to continually check things off that massive list. And let me tell you, it felt AMAZING when I check the last item off that list.
I want you to experience this wonderful feeling so go make your list of everything you want to get done before your holiday of choice (mine is by New Year's Eve..my all-time FAV holiday!)
I learned this helpful tip from a close friend and LOVE how it helps me stay focused and organized.
The next step is to evaluate all of the items you put on your To Conquer List and decide how big of a priority they are. Here are the categories I use but you are more than welcome to adjust until you find categories that work best for you (I encourage it!)
Is the item:
High Priority (H) : Should be completed within the next 3 days.
Medium Priority (M) : Should be completed within the next week.
Low Priority (L) : Should be completed within the next two weeks (or more).
I go through my list and write either H, M, or L next to each item and then reorganize my list so that all High priority items are together at the top of the list, all Medium priority items are together, and all Low priority items are together at the bottom of the list.
This technique helps you stay on track and focus on what needs to be done right now and what can wait. I recommend reevaluating your list weekly as priorities change.
Set Aside Time (and stick to it!)
This can sometimes be the most challenging thing to do but is also the number one way to actually get things done in your day.
Setting aside the time you need to get your tasks done is the only way they will actually be completed (and you will remain sane in the process).
When are you most productive? When does it make sense to do each task? What needs to be done before you can complete other tasks?
Taking this all in to consideration can help you select the best times to set aside to get things done...and to hold yourself accountable to stick to it when the time comes.
For example: I want to make sure to get a new article out to you all even during the holidays when I am back home visiting in Minnesota. In order to do that, I am setting aside 2 hours each morning (except Christmas and New Years Day) to get things done for Lists and Lovelies.
It makes me feel SO much better to have a game plan and know that I will have time to get everything done that I want to while still having plenty of time to spend with my family and friends this season.
I hope that this article has given you some fresh ideas about how to get everything done this December and how to remain totally happy while doing so. Use your own individuality to your advantage and hold yourself accountable so you have plenty of time to fill yourself with mashed potatoes and pie! Make sure to check out my To Conquer List (sneak peek below!) resource to give you a head start to planning your productivity!
I hope you are having a lovely festive season!