Work From Home During Christmas Holiday
We're in the thick of the Christmas season- a season to celebrate with friends, family and spend more time with them. There's a great chance that you could lose concentration and almost forget about work.
Why? Everyone is singing Christmas songs, hosting guests, planning parties, and eating dinner.
Even when these things are not in your way, it's easy to fall off track because no boss is watching over your shoulder. And hey, it's the holidays; you can get slack because Christmas comes with that air of relaxation.
Eight Ways to Work From Home Without Losing Focus
If you don't make your work a centre of interest this holiday, other things will fill up your space - Family, friends, housework, phone, social media, and the internet: these things will fight for your productive time. How then can you stay focused on your work when working from home?
Here are eight tips that'll keep you from distractions and get more work done. You'll be astonished at how much a little attention may assist in making Christmas the most delightful time of the year.
Let's dive in…
1. Prepare for Distractions
The best way to get rid of distractions is to acknowledge that they exist and get set to tackle them. Only then can you get the most out of the time you set for working.
Here are four big distractions you should be aware of. They include:
Distractions caused by our bodies (hunger, sleep, fatigue) are necessities that we must attend to
Distractions of our minds (thinking about unrelated things, procrastination)
Distractions caused by the environment (presence of people and noises)
Digital distractions (the daily habits of responding to every notification on our devices steals our ability to concentrate)
You must have noticed that these distractions are very easy to fall into. Which one of them stands out for you the most?
What can you do to help yourself out?
Ensure you predict the likelihood that your body will make demands for food and rest
Get ready to tackle thoughts unrelated to your work, like your kids, friends, and movie night.
Do all you can in advance to have some peace and quietness. For example, locking your room, informing your family of your commitment at that time.
Identify your urge to pick up your mobile or check emails beforehand. Keep your phone away from you if it's not a tool you need while at work.
2. Optimize Your Schedule
Yes, we all know scheduling is the next thing when you want to be very productive. But what happens when your to-do list isn't exactly getting things done?
To optimize means to make as effective as possible, drawing as much benefit from your schedule as you can. An optimized schedule is a nearly faultless timetable that achieves the maximum performance levels.
Here's how to make the best of the schedule you've created:
Write down everything you need to do every day to know what you have to do per time.
Select the first three most important tasks based on urgency and priority
Block out time to get them done: It could be your mornings or afternoons; ensure to pick a time you're most active.
Combine related tasks: don't try to get unrelated things done together because they affect productivity negatively.
Take breaks: No one can be very productive all of the time. It's critical to relax your brain. That way, you'll return invigorated and ready to do more
3. Manage Fluctuation Workload
The amount of work you will do every day through the holidays cannot be the same, so don't expect it. Your workload is the total amount of tasks you're expected to accomplish over a particular period.
Workload management is your ability to distribute those tasks effectively - no more, no less.
Here are ways to manage a varying workload that might want to hound you this Christmas:
Predict the tides and estimate your work: This way, you're getting ready and preparing capacity for what you have ahead. You don't want to receive tons of work on days you plan to sleep in.
Plan and clear your schedule.
Take advantage of days that have less workload: If your leisure time has been compromised for some days, get it back by resting on days that there's little or no work.
4. Communicate Your Needs
Communicating your needs is one of the most important ways to care for yourself.
What are your needs? They are those necessities you require to survive and function at an optimal level.
If you have family needs, psychological needs, you automatically have work needs. Every employee in the workplace desires one or more of the following things:
Compensation and acknowledgment of the good work they have done for the labour.
The correct tools to get work done perfectly.
Leadership that "has their back" and cheers them on.
Team members and employers who care about and support them.
Communicating your needs effectively with your team can help avoid misunderstandings. It makes them aware of things that keep you at best and things that suck your energy in terms of work.
Here are some tips for communicating your needs to your employer or your team:
According to the seven Cs, communication must be clear, concise, specific, accurate, cohesive, comprehensive, and polite.
Let them know why you need what you mentioned: knowing your "why" helps them see from your perspective.
Be sure to hint how meeting your needs benefits all of your team members as a whole.
5. Take Note of Time Off
We can't overemphasize the need for strategic breaks. Don't be deceived into thinking the more time you spend; the more productive you get at the end of the day.
Your brain and body get tons of benefits from taking a break. Not sure? Here's what you get from an intermission:
Clarity of Mind: When you force yourself to work for too many hours/days in a row, your brain will finally rebel. Your ideas will get hazy, your creativity will dwindle, and you'll find it hard to cope. Fortunately, even a single day off may help you regain mental clarity.
Productivity Gains: Even the most basic activities become difficult when you are burned out. Take a few days off; you'll feel revitalized and ready to tackle new tasks.
Improved Balance: Maintaining a decent work-life balance at home is difficult because you no longer tend to know the difference. When you neglect time off, you might lose your sense of self.
Therefore, Take time away from work to allow you to rediscover your joy and recall what life was like before you were swamped with work.
No matter how much you enjoy your job, doing the same thing every day might get monotonous. Taking a break allows you to refocus on your goals and see things differently. When you take a break from the routine for a day or two, you'll be astonished at how many fantastic ideas spring to mind.
Improved Personal Relationships: Your time off is perfect for spending time with important people in your life, like your kids and significant other. When you do this, they are reminded of your commitment and love for them; you get to spend quality moments and create stronger bonds.
6. Keep the Kids Busy
When you are home for the holidays, getting work done can be difficult because your children are there seeking your attention. You have to keep your kids busy by giving them "work" of their own to get something done.
The best way to keep them busy is by entertaining them. Here are some activities that can help keep your kids in check while you work:
Toys: Having toys suited to your kids' age is one of the easiest ways to keep your kids busy at home. You can amass age-suitable toys for them, and you'll be surprised how they become so engrossed. This way, you'll be able to give your work maximum attention.
It would help if you also encouraged imaginative play. Having the children pretend situations like store, eatery or school, the hospital is another great idea to keep them carried away while carrying on with your work. Challenge them to build houses, castles to keep them focused. Test other games, too, like Scrabble, jigsaw puzzles, etc.
Book reading: If you have older kids, you can easily get them entertained and busy by choosing books that capture their interests.
Are they younger? Not to worry, buy them picture books so they'll understand most of the story by visuals.
Play office: Kids love to pose as adults and pretend that they also have important work to do. It's time to indulge them. Put up their office at a corner of your workstation or in their rooms.
Set out scrap paper, envelopes, pencils, notepads, sticky notes, and any other office supplies you might have. Assign work assignments like stapling papers together, filling pages with stickers, or developing writing skills.
Learning apps: There are websites and applications made available for all age levels to learn various subjects formally and informally. Many of these sites make learning fun and worthwhile.
This way, your kids will feel like they are playing games while, in the real sense, they're subconsciously sharpening their reading and math skills.
7. Avoid the Grinch
Have you heard of the Christmas grinch? He is a fictional character. A nasty, mean creature who hates Christmas for no particular reason.
Whether we like it or not, there's always a personality with the anti-holiday spirit roaming around. Let nobody trick you into thinking celebrating and enjoying the holidays even while working is a crime.
Here are ways to fire up your enthusiasm and keep up with the lively holiday season spirit:
Avoid subjecting yourself to opinions that dampen your enthusiasm, give you a bad temper.
Keep reminding yourself of the holiday and the purpose of the season.
Surround yourself with friends and people who help liven up your spirit.
Be grateful for the gift of the season and the people around you.
8. Embrace the Festive Office Spirit
Don't be the Christmas Grinch yourself, do not ignore the festive spirit but embrace it and allow it to fill up your workspace physically and mentally.
Remind yourself of the air of Christmas by:
Doing some decorations and putting them up in your office.
Turning on some lights to brighten up the place while you work
Take time to do things that are all about the season. For example, listening to Christmas songs, watching your favourite Christmas classics, etc.
We are sure that at this point, you're battle-ready to tackle any form of distraction that might be stacked against you. Which one of these ways did you think affected your productivity in the past holidays? And how exactly will you put the new ideas you got into practice? Don't hesitate to do your best to enjoy your holiday and remain efficient at work.