Surviving the Holiday Work Slump

Managing the stress amid deadlines and expectations is hard. This time of year is stressful; between the various holiday parties, family gatherings, and extra weekend activities, it can be difficult to stay focused on your work.

If you’ve been feeling sluggish and lacking focus, you’re not alone. According to Peakon, an HR data analysis company, 61 percent of individuals surveyed said they were distracted by the time Thanksgiving rolled around in November. By mid-December, most workers were simply checked out. Peakon also found that six in 10 workers said their productivity declined in the week before Christmas.

This means that for about a month, you’ve been dragging your feet to meet those deadlines AND meet with family and friends for those extra activities. Since the deadlines don’t just go away and your commitments during the holiday season only seem to increase, here are a few tips to survive the holiday work slump.

1) Aside from those big projects that require more time and detail, modify your schedule during the holidays. Some experts suggest that with a good night’s sleep you tend to have more energy in the morning. Perhaps if you go to bed early and wake up a few hours earlier to start work, you won’t feel so bad about closing up shop around 2 p.m. a few days a week.
2) Make a list and check it twice. Santa’s not the only one who has to do this. During the holidays, more than ever, it’s important to maximize your time –especially if you’re ending your work day earlier than is usual. Make a detailed list of the tasks you need to complete before ending your day –and check it twice before moving on to your holiday shopping list!
3) Be honest and communicate clearly with your clients, co-workers and/or boss. Chances are, everyone else is feeling the holiday work slump, too. For projects with soft deadlines, it might be best to push those out to the beginning of the new year. This will leave you more time to work on those urgent projects and perhaps you could even find the time to bake several dozen cookies for your mail carrier, hair stylist and whoever else could use some good cheer during the holiday season.
4) Carve out time for you to relax and enjoy the season. Between running around from one event to another, standing in line to purchase gifts, cleaning and organizing to host family and all the other items on your list, when you finally come up for air, the holiday season has passed you by and you can’t even remember what you did. Although it might seem nearly impossible to do, try to take some time to soak it all in. It could be just sitting by a fire drinking a cup of coffee or stepping outside to meditate for a few minutes. By taking a few minutes to relax, you might get the little push you need to overcome the holiday work slump.

ABOUT Arris Shabaglian

For more than a decade Arris has worked as a freelance writer, editor and communications consultant. She has also taught university level courses on the art of communication, public relations and journalism. Arris is a Pinterest addict who loves a good night’s sleep and a nice cup of coffee. She resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and three kids (hence the need for a nice cup of coffee).