How To Stay Productive During The Holidays

Making the most out of this wonderful time of the year

Felix Cabrera
Dec 29, 2019 · 5 min read
Photo by David Beale on Unsplash

The holidays are here…

Meeting family, going to parties, opening gifts, and eating delicious food. You may have a lot going on during this time.

That is great.

However, through the years, I have noticed that it may be a struggle to stay productive during this time of the year, especially when you don’t have a vacation during this time.

You still have deadlines at work during December and other things that you have to get done.

Nonetheless, I have learned ways to stay productive during the festive season. That is, to make the most out of the holiday season. You can use this time to set up yourself for success for the upcoming year.

Thus, I want to share them with you.

Have A Balanced Mindset

If you are like me, it may be hard for you to turn off work mode when the holidays come around.

Hence, I have learned to adopt a balanced mindset. That is, I started to look at the holiday season as a time to reflect, recharge, and reconnect with loved ones.

“Wisdom is your perspective on life, your sense of balance, your understanding of how the various parts and principles apply and relate to each other.”

- Steven R. Covey

Moreover, I have learned to appreciate the importance of taking a break and how it increases productivity, instead of hindering it, what I used to think.

Before, I used to think that if you weren’t working, then you weren’t productive.

Boy, I was wrong.

The holidays are a great time to step back, recharge, and take a look at your life. I have found this to approach way more effective than burning myself out during the holiday season.

On the other hand, having a balanced mindset applies to the opposite scenario as well. If you are struggling to get work done or are feeling lazy, then be honest to yourself and make time for having fun and getting important things done.

In other words, set your priorities straight and follow through. Then, you can reward yourself later after getting things done.

Take a break if you feel you deserve one.


You can use your free time during the holidays to reflect on what is working in your life and what isn’t. You can even use this time to pinpoint the improvements that you have to make in different areas of your life, like work, relationships, and health.

As a result, you start looking for different ways to get better and move closer to reaching your goals; in other words, working smarter, not harder.

Here is a simple exercise I have done and you can do too:

  1. Am I reaching my goals?
  2. What changes can I make to move closer to achieving my goals?
  3. What areas do I need to invest more (or less) time in my life?

By asking these questions, you will start examining different areas of your life and think about changes you can implement to achieve your goals. Sometimes we tend to do things the same way and think that is the most productive one.

However, that is not always the case. So, using this “free” time to reflect and examine the ways you are doing things, may help you discover more efficient ways to accomplish your goals.

Use The Positive Momentum

I don’t know about you, but when we reach the end of the year, I start to feel motivated to what is yet to come the next year.

For instance, I want to start working out more and make positive changes in my life. That is, I start making resolutions.

I see a lot of my friends saying, “I will start going to the gym in January” or “I will get better grades this semester.”

That is great. When reaching the end of the year, you can use the positive momentum that this time brings. Use the motivation you have to start the new year to plan out what you want to accomplish.

Here are some ways you can use the positive momentum:

  1. Name three things you want to accomplish during the next year.
  2. Identify what resources do you need to accomplish these goals.
  3. Design a routine.

By naming three things, you want to accomplish you can set your focus for the upcoming year.

These can be things in different areas such as one for finances, one for health and one for your career.

Why three?

Because I have noticed that during this time, I tend to get carried away, and I want to do a lot of things at once.

So, by keeping up to three, I don’t get overwhelmed, and I increase my chances of following through and accomplishing the three goals I choose.

That is why I recommend choosing three goals, but you can choose as many as you would like to focus on.

Then, identify the resources you need to achieve your goals, such as money, books, courses, or any other material you need to achieve what you desire.

Now, design a plan and make it part of your daily routine. By doing this, you may do the necessary steps to accomplish your goals regularly.

What I have noticed is that consistency is vital for achieving your new year resolutions and overall goals.


To keep being productive during the holiday season, having a balanced mindset can help. Accepting that taking a break from working so hard during the holiday season may help you recharge and reflect.

After taking a break, you may energized and motivated. Thus, increasing your productivity.

If you are struggling with having a lot of distractions, or feeling lazy, set priorities and get things done, you can reward yourself later.

Now, by taking the time to reflect during the holidays, you might see ways you can work smarter towards your goals. Also, you might take this time to assess what is working in your life and what is not.

Thus, you can make the improvements necessary to move closer to achieving your goals.

Lastly, take advantage of the positive momentum you might have at the of the year. You might feel motivated to accomplish your new year’s resolutions.

So, make the most out of this time.

Disclaimer: I am not a mental health, or counseling professional. These tips and advice are based on my experience and opinion as a student, tutor, teacher, and software developer. Everyone is different, so the advice shared in this article may or may not work for you.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment.

Felix Cabrera

Written by

A.k.a. Felix The Dev. Software Developer. Writer, programming teacher, tutor, and coach.

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment.

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