The holiday season means delicious food, family-time, and... distractions galore! Staying focused during this time of year can be especially challenging, but there are ways you can boost your productivity now and into the new year.
If you find yourself with a backlog of work, or you're having a hard time keeping on-task throughout the day, take a look at these tips and get back on track:
Make a schedule
Balancing family and work can't be done without a plan even at the best of times. Add in holiday parties, shopping, get-togethers and end-of-year deadlines and it's a recipe for stress.
Making a schedule can help to add order to the chaos and make it easier for you to complete your projects on time.
Instead of going day-by-day with your tasks, try setting up a schedule based on the projects you have due. Set aside time for each project (and family time) each day, and fill out your to-do list accordingly.
Tackle tough jobs first
Got a big deadline looming? Really difficult task to complete? Instead of putting it off til last, break down those challenging tasks into manageable chunks that you can handle first thing.
Divide the big tasks into the simplest steps and then complete as many of those steps as you can manage within the time you've alotted in your schedule.
By getting the tough work done first, you'll have more energy to complete everything else for the day.
Phone beeping, email chiming, chat pinging—all those distractions add up to time wasted and nervous habits that keep us from doing our best.
Instead of stopping every five minutes to check your notifications, set aside time within each hour of your schedule to check up on your emails, chats, and other distractions.
Having set times to address these communications will keep you focused on completing your work versus constantly checking notifications that may not be important.
Holiday times are often fraught with short-notice deadlines combined with scheduling challenges as people take time off for much-needed family time.
Keep in mind the availability of key resources, and communicate with your clients about realistic timelines for completion.
Get Help from an App
If you're having problems keeping on task, consider using an app to improve your organization and time-management.
Productivity apps make it easier for you to keep track of multiple projects, reduce distractions, and generally stay on track.
Bonus: Train Yourself to be Productive
Looking for help getting started? I put together a quick video training on how to get productive.
Register for beta access to my new freelancer training and you'll get immediate access to video training designed to get you managing your time more effectively from start to finish.