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Pushing through December: How to Stay Focused When the Holidays are Near

  • Morganne August
  • Dec 08, 2016

The few weeks before the holidays tend to feel like a never-ending limbo: lights and decorations are up in the office, gift lists fill brain space, and the sense that trying to get anything done would be pointless looms. It’s tempting to let many tasks lie until the New Year begins, but leaving all of that work for the first few days of January is guaranteed to make it seem like a week of Mondays.

Below are a few quick tips for staying focused in December:

Limit social media distractions.

While this should always be a goal in the workplace, the temptation to peruse Facebook and Instagram is extra high around the holidays. Friends and family are posting baby pictures, engagement announcements, and heart-warming stories, and the rabbit hole can be difficult to crawl out of. Try turning off your smartphone notifications during the work day, and if you’re in charge of your company’s social media, put the horse blinders on when you go in to post or monitor engagement.

Honor pre-set timelines and project due dates.

Don’t let “just push that back to after the holidays” become an oft-repeated mantra in your office. Going through with meetings, projects, and regularly scheduled tasks during the month of December is imperative to setting yourself up for a successful 2017. Plus, holding up your end of meetings and projects will help encourage others to stay on task and meet deadlines as well.

Shopping mall blur background with bokeh

Look forward, not back.

Many companies spend December rehashing the year’s numbers and what did or didn’t get done; suggest that instead, you focus on where your business is headed in 2017. Many ideas or routines you’ll want to implement in the new year will take some time to get up and off the ground, so now is the time to plant those seeds. The excitement that accompanies fresh plans will make them easier to work on than stale projects or disappointing numbers.

Schedule social gatherings and holiday parties after hours or on Fridays.

Keeping social gatherings to times when folks are already feeling chatty and relaxed helps free up work hours for, well, work. An afternoon holiday party can quickly pull attention away from work in the morning as well, so save workday gatherings for Fridays when (let’s face it) the expectation or productivity is already much lower! Or plan an offsite party for the evening–taking the party out of the office will help the environment stay work-focused.

Be considerate of your employer/employees.

All of these suggestions boil down to one rule of thumb: be considerate of your employer’s desire to finish the year strong or your employee’s gifts-and-relatives-and-events-riddled brain. Avoiding assumptions and laying out the ground rules for what’s expected of both parties during the holiday season–down to taking time off or gifting protocol with clients–keeps everyone cheerful and informed.

We’re still on task! If you’re interested in bringing your 2013 website up to 2017 standards, designing promotional holiday items, or improving your site’s visibility on search engines, give us a shout! We’d love to get the ball rolling.

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