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Staying productive during holidays – Here’s my secret recipe

Wish to reduce holiday mayhem and stay productive during your winter break?

We may still have some time left before the holiday season arrives but you never know where the time flies and Christmas is just knocking our doors. There’s something super pleasant about the last few months. Maybe it’s the cool, rustic weather or overall holiday mood but I just love these last months of the year.

In India, we particularly do not have huge celebrations for thanksgiving or Christmas but being a convent girl, you can totally expect the excitement of the holiday season. Christmas indeed is the time for joy, family gatherings, enjoying the best time together, and getting nostalgic.

stay productive during holidays

However, this time of the year could totally be chaotic and it can be super difficult to stay productive during the holiday season.

The work of the holiday season starts soon even before they arrive and though it’s only of two days, we make sure that we do our best. With all the decluttering, to getting our To-do list on the check to wrapping up the gifts, this time of the year totally demands us to stay super productive and on our knees.

Also, it’s normal to lose interest from our daily activities and sneak into holiday mood even before it actually arrives. This causes serious harm to our year-long efforts and in the end, our work suffers. As a result, we cannot truly enjoy our holidays knowing that we haven’t accomplished our goals yet.

How being productive reduces stress during the holidays?

It’s super easy to slow down and feel unproductive or less-motivated during holidays. I feel this all the time but the harsh truth is – this will just give you so much of stress and anxiety later.

Here’s how this cycle of productivity and holiday works. We get super excited about holidays and leave all our pending work with a ‘promise’ to finish it later; maybe after buying the gifts or decorating our house.

But guess what!! That later never comes and all the work stays there as it was. As soon as you realize this, it probably gets super late and you have no other option than working late or over-doing the stuff.

Isn’t it the best to stay productive and have some solid plan early enough?

Here’s what I do to stay productive during the holidays:

How to stay productive during holidays – 10 best tips

The holiday season is the best time to scale up your business and plan for the next year. You surely don’t want to just let go of this gold nugget. I’m indeed not refraining you from celebrating the holiday season but how about finding a middle way!!

Get ready to be productive during the holidays:

1. Get clear about your goals

Do you have monthly and weekly goals to accomplish before the year ends? If no, you really need to start getting clear about them. Whether it’s something personal or some professional goals, getting clear about what you want to accomplish will always set a clear road to walk upon.

Use your goal planner or journal to create a plan and be super, crystal clear on what you want to accomplish.


Always remember, set realistic goals because there’s no use of overwhelming yourself with something you know you cannot achieve.

Write those goals in BIG letters with some shiny, bold marker and stick it somewhere you can always see. This will be your ‘why’, the reason why you need to be productive even during holidays.

In other words, your goal is your fuel that keeps your productivity engine moving. ( Lol the engineer in me is quickly bouncing out)

2. Start making lists

I’m a huge fan of creating lists and I so love making them every day. When something is on my list, it’s out of my head and this is super relaxing. Whether it’s just a To-Do list or shopping list, get your things on the paper and you will never forget any of your tasks.

I normally create my daily To-Do list but as the holiday season is approaching, I create all king of lists from shopping to buying gifts to meal planning. It’s such a huge relief when you have written everything on paper and then just check it off when you’re done.


You can also use some digital apps to stay on track and make lists but I normally prefer using my planner for this. Believe me, this will help you manage time during holidays.

3. Prioritize important tasks always

Having a long To-do list won’t help if you’re not creating it wisely. Always be sure of adding your most important + urgent tasks on the top and do it right away. You need to be very clear about what you wish to tick off first and I would always suggest handling the heavy task earlier.

stay productive during holiday

Sometimes, your To-do list will be super overwhelming and you will be rushing to finish them off all. However, during such cases, it’s advisable to handle only one task at a time. Set-top three important tasks to handle right away and finish them off first. This is a super-easy way to stay productive even during holidays.

Related piece – How to become your best self even during tough times.

4. Plan your holiday routine

Let’s accept this, as much as we want to have our regular routine during holidays, it’s certainly not possible. Instead of making futile efforts, try staying on the top of this game, and create your own holiday routine.

I always plan out my holiday routine right ahead of time and communicate with all my family members. This is super important because you clearly just don’t want to waste your winter break in doing nothing. Have your own holiday schedule and stick to it.

Related piece – 51 gorgeous self-care ideas for fall

5. Establish (healthy) boundaries

Having healthy boundaries with friends and family is also an important aspect of staying productive during holidays. If you’re in your zone of working, you clearly don’t want any disturbance and this comes by setting the boundaries. The most important thing here is to communicate and get things straight.

stay productive during holidays

You may not wish to stay up late planning for the next day meal or just talking about success and failures, communicate this to avoid any further misunderstanding. If you’re having a full-time job, you will also need to establish some boundaries with your boss and co-workers.

Understand this, your time and energy are limited and you surely don’t want to end up being super exhausted.

Related piece – How to overcome the fear of judgment

6. Avoid being a ‘perfectionist’

Do you ever feel the urge of setting everything perfect? Well, I get you. I had this bug inside that would nudge even if something was a little offbeat or not according to the plan. It was a long journey to help myself to come out from this vicious cycle of achieving perfection.

Realize this, you are just a human who can make mistakes and totally improve them. There’s no such word like ‘Perfection’ and striving for it will only make you miserable.

Perfection will never let you be productive and you will end up being stressed. Here’s how you should stop being perfect, now.

7. Unplug / Have a digital detox

Are you always glued to your social media and picking up all the negative energy? It’s time to reset and give yourself some digital break. I love using Instagram and is the best place to hang out with my readers. But I also know how harmful it actually is for my productivity.

Thus, I always try unplugging on weekends to just clear my head and live more intentionally.

Social media could be really distracting especially during holidays and it’s super easy to spend a huge amount of time scrolling for some ideas. Get this, if you really wish to stay productive during holidays, you need to limit your social media usage.

I love reading books and journaling my thoughts instead of random scrolling. 

 

8. Have deadlines for everything

Your work will never kick-off without a strict deadline. Whenever I’m handling a new task or project, I make sure that I set some deadline + actionable steps to achieve that deadline. This is so important if you want to stay productive and get your work done.

Another way around, if you don’t have a deadline, you clearly don’t have any actionable steps to accomplish and you end up wasting your time. So, create a timeline with an end date and start following it.

It’s all okay to shift your deadline a little ahead or later than decided so don’t be too hard on yourself. Having a deadline will make you feel accountable for the work and you will get most of your work done on time. This is my pro tip for holiday productivity.

9. Stop comparing

The worst thing you can do to yourself is to compare your journey with some else. You need to understand that we are all in our own unique journey and that there’s no comparison. You cannot burn yourself with work if someone else is achieving all their goals.

This will just make you miserable and you will end up doubting your worth. Thus, leave this train of comparison and only focus on your journey. It’s totally okay to be inspired and motivated by their journey, but don’t give yourself a hard time in doing so.

During holidays, your family and friends are going to talk about their success and achievement, be sure that you hold yourself and stay in your light.

Besides this, you are going to kill your productivity when you catch up on this comparison train.

10. Take a break

Taking breaks gradually increases your productivity. The goal here isn’t to burn yourself out with all the work which totally isn’t productive at all. Here is how being busy will never let you be productive.


Especially during the holiday season, when your mind would be wandering about meal planning, gift selections, making cards, wrapping gifts, and what not!! It’s so rewarding to take some time off and give yourself some break. Trust me, this will really enhance your productivity during the holidays.


How to enjoy holidays and be productive – A win-win situation

It’s totally possible to enjoy the holiday season and be super productive and this is coming from an Indian girl who celebrates nearly every festival without lagging behind in work.

Here in India, we have a festive season from early August and it ends with New year ( quite shocked!!)

Well, not everyone celebrates all the festivals here but as I was working with the Convent school earlier, we celebrated each and every festival ( of all the religion) Thus, I know this by heart that you can be productive and enjoy your holiday season too.

Just follow these quick 10 tips and start creating the plan. Pick your favorite journal and have your own holiday map. This will surely help you stay productive during the holidays.


Are you struggling with holiday productivity or having some super amazing tips to stay productive during holidays?

Share them with me in the comments below.


Also, save this for reading later ( believe me, you will want to).

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About Me
I’m Sonia from Gujarat, India – an author, mental health advocate, blogger and a lifelong dreamer. – the writer of this blog and an author of the poetry book ‘Silent Defiance’. Read More

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