How to be productive during the holidays season

Keep procrastination away even in December

It’s officially the best time of the year! The city is all lighten up and ready for holidays. There are Christmas trees everywhere and a feeling of freedom and lack of responsibilities is floating in the air.

However, there’s a lot of work to be done until the 25th of December and it’s very important to focus all the energy on completing the tasks until the Christmas holiday. By doing so, we can enjoy every minute of vacation without being stressed by some unfinished duties from our job.

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How can we keep the productivity level up when all these vacation vibes are suggesting the opposite?

1. Make sure you are using your calendar

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Procrastination is the worst enemy of productivity and the holidays season creates a perfect environment for us to keep postponing our daily tasks.

There are so many distractions from our work this time of the year — such as scrolling through presents for our loved ones, finding the perfect color for the Christmas tree, spending hours on Pinterest looking for DIY decorations, or just going through websites that offer discounts on various useless products.

Thus, I started using my Google Calendar, writing down all my activities. This way, I get a better sense of the way I’m spending my time and I’m more prepared mentally to focus on my job during the working hours.

In this process, I’m paying special attention to my free time. I write down any events I’m attending, I mark my yoga classes, the tango lessons, and horseback riding lessons, as well as every activity that might come up.

This is a great trick that helps me to keep my productivity level up. I don’t feel the need for so many breaks, I’m not procrastinating and I’m more focused since I use my calendar.

2. Plan a Christmas party with your colleagues

Any side activities with your colleagues will help to establish a stronger connection between each other, will make December more dynamic because you are going to expect something nice to happen at some point this month and it will contribute significantly to the overall atmosphere in the office.

Thus, you can propose a Christmas party, a Secret Santa challenge, or even just a longer lunch break to enjoy a pizza at the office, order sushi or Chinese food, and listen to some Christmas carols together.

These activities not only will create a perfect environment for an on spot team building — exchanging some experiences, jokes, and spending some good time together — but it will also provide a good discussion topic for the rest of the month, creating a nice atmosphere in the office, where everybody will feel more comfortable and happy.

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3. Create a cozy atmosphere at work

During December, a cozy atmosphere is a must! We are all decorating our homes, buying nice smelling candles and using Chrismas lights everywhere. However, we are still spending 8 hours per day at work, waiting all that time to finally go home and enjoy our nice-looking decorations and the freshly made Christmas tree.

Therefore, we’ve decorated our office at DigiTales, so we get the cozy Christmas feeling during our working hours too. Thus, we don’t have to wait every day to go home in order to get the holidays feeling.

Even if your team or your boss doesn’t want to decorate the whole office, you can bring some small decorations and use them to make your desk nicer — change your wallpaper using a Christmasy picture, or bring your favorite candle so you feel more comfortable in the space you are spending most of your day in.

If possible, start listening to music at the office. You can all agree on a nice playlist — something relaxing, not too distracting, some cozy, ambient music. Now it’s your chance to listen to that nice winter jazz playlist and create a beautiful atmosphere in your office. The good vibes are guaranteed when you are working on music.

4. Have some goodies ready to hand

Since the temperature dropped under 10 degrees, DigiTales is always winter ready. Thus, we keep in our office oranges, teas, and chocolate. A small tea break can make your day. Every time one of us is peeling an orange we get that cozy Christmas atmosphere.

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Sometimes we are baking different cookies at home and sharing it with our colleagues. All these small details help us feel more like home even during the working hours, and when we feel comfortable, we are more productive and we feel less pressure and stress.

These small breaks, when we are gathering around the coffee table, telling some jokes, showing each other pictures of our Christmas decorations form home, drinking a nice cup of tea and eating a good orange make our team members more connected to each other and the sense of responsibility towards each other rises. Thus, we help each other by focusing on our daily tasks and ensuring that each of us is working hard, so our projects turn out successful.

5. Keep your office fresh and bright

It's very hard to focus on work when it’s dark outside. Your brain gives you signals that it’s time for Netflix and a good sleep because it’s getting dark around 5 PM. Therefore, the light in your office is a very important element and it makes all the difference when it comes to your productivity level.

Because it’s winter and cold outside, we tend to close all the windows and turn on the heat to the maximum. It might feel good at the beginning, but have you noticed, many times during the day, that your eyes are getting heavier and heavier, closing slowly?

When it’s too warm in the office and there’s a lack of fresh air, our brains are shutting down. We need fresh oxygen to function properly. So, from time to time, open the windows and turn down the heat. When the temperature is at a comfortable level, you are more productive and ready to take care of your tasks.

Also, don’t forget to drink water — not the tea, nor the coffee are going to replace the need for you to drink a considerable amount of water every day. During winter, it’s easy to forget to drink fresh water. Therefore, make sure you always have a big glass of water on your desk and that you are taking a sip from it regularly.

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These are my five tips that will hopefully make your December easier and will help you enjoy this time of the year, even if you are trapped in your office for 8 hours per day.

I wish you a very productive December, enjoy your holidays to the fullest, and a Merry Christmas filled with beautiful moments together with your loved ones!