Normally, the holidays are that time of the year when people struggle to beat procrastination, but this year, things stand a bit differently. Procrastination has never seemed easier, given that we’ve been cooped up for months on end.
While it’s true that remote work has made a huge impact on people’s standpoints, it is also true that we still need to work to make our living.
The good news is that the crisis is bound to pass, so what we need to keep in mind during the holidays is how to enjoy them and not neglect our future tasks. Here are some practical tips on how to balance your time off with your job arrangements and private life.
Take a Break From Incoming Messages
The first tip is – turn off your email notifications. It has become a habit to keep checking incoming emails, and it’s a bad habit, at that. Even during regular working hours, this practice tends to lead to massive workflow interruptions, often resulting in considerable waste of time and concentration.
There’s no need to keep an eye on all incoming messages all the time, and especially not during the holidays, which are meant for enjoying some quality time with friends and family, no matter the circumstances.
Rather than wasting time on emails all day long, why not allocate two time slots for checking incoming messages? That’s what many people do regularly, opting to check their inbox once in the morning and once in the evening.
Make Time for All Daily Tasks
While taking things easy is what the holidays are all about, for many people, there are some business-related tasks that cannot be neglected for days on end. To avoid the tasks building up, make a schedule to keep things in order every day.
However, don’t overdo yourself. Make certain to allocate sufficient time for all tasks, business-related and leisure-related alike.
Maintain Efficiency Without Cutting Into Your Spare Time
Efficiency and productivity are closely linked and, contrary to popular belief, they are not exclusively business-related. Rather, it’s a state of mind in which you keep focused on the task, but stay connected with the rest of the team.
During the holidays, people tend to take things easy, which is fine and all, as long as that doesn’t translate into procrastination. There’s nothing wrong with binge-watching your favorite shows, as long as that is exactly what you want to be doing. If it’s just a means to waste time with the excuse it’s the holidays, though, it’s no good.
Again, making a daily schedule will help you with all activities. One benefit of the holidays is that you have the AM time at your disposal. Use it well for everything you want to do but don’t go with the flow. If you have a gathering planned and receive another invitation you don’t know how to fit in, decline it.
Write Down a Couple of Reminders
Holidays often come with a busy schedule, especially for business people. On top of family matters, there are also job-related gatherings to take into account.
To avoid ending up being overburdened, write down reminders. Take one task at a time and delegate when and where possible. It’s not good to be stressed in the days leading up to the holidays, let alone during the holidays themselves, so plan ahead.
Don’t Completely Bypass Your Daily Routine
We’re all for taking things easy during the holidays, but that doesn’t mean doing nothing all day long is a good idea.
This holds especially true for people who exercise daily. While it’s okay to slow down, it’s still recommended to work out at least a bit every day. This will not only keep you fit and guilt-free when all those sweets start popping up, but will also help you clear your head for the tasks ahead.
Don’t Go to Extreme With New Year’s Resolutions
This year is specific in multiple ways and has challenged many of our standpoints. This can be quite confusing, but also good. If we observe things from a different perspective and on a larger scale, we can see a clearer picture of what we want.
One thing that has gotten a whole new dimension is – new year’s resolutions. Normally, people would go along these lines: stop smoking, drink less, lose some pounds, exercise regularly, etc. This year, however, it seems that the changes we look forward to achieving are more dramatic and deal with important issues that help us shape our life in the desired direction.
For example, many people who were initially unfamiliar with remote work have now learned that things can be done more efficiently and in a more relaxed way. Many people have indeed begun to question whether their usual job routine is what they really want and, in that sense, next year is certain to bring tectonic changes to the job market.
The fact that remote work and freelancing have been gaining popularity for years even without the help of the pandemic means that the gig economy will expand to accept all newcomers by providing better offers for everyone.
So, if your new year’s resolution is to change the way you’re performing your job tasks, you’ll have a difficult time defining what exactly you want, simply because the offer is close to being endless.
The best approach would be to keep a draft of your aspirations and work towards your goal one step at a time. Losing some pounds and stopping smoking may be worthwhile ideas, but putting too much strain to achieve them is not the way to go about things.
Instead, relax, enjoy the holidays, and keep abreast of the developments.
Holidays are – holidays. They are meant to be both enjoyable and stressful, and to include both work and procrastination. That’s simply how things stand.
That is not either a good or a bad thing – it’s just the state of affairs objectively observed. Even with the ongoing pandemic, not many holiday habits have changed. While we may be meeting fewer people than usually, we’re still taking some time off to enjoy the break and plan for the future.
Overall, as long as you maintain a healthy balance of leisure activities, tasks ahead and your regular routine, you’ll be just fine, so don’t stress over it.