Time Management Skills During the Holidays
If you work from home, you know how challenging it can be to manage your time effectively. With so many work deliverables looming over your head, as well as the distractions of running a household, getting it all done can seem overwhelming. And now with the holidays quickly approaching, it probably seems more challenging than ever before. Fortunately, by putting tried and true time management skills to work, you can get it all done and still have time for that much needed glass of egg nog at the end of the night.
Designate office hours. The best way to make sure you stay focused on your work is to determine set hours for getting everything done. Therefore, if you plan to work from 9:00 to 5:00 make sure you have no other distractions during that time. This will give you a clear distinction between work and home life – and keep you focused and productive.
Tackle your biggest tasks in the morning. If you have a project that will require lots of research and focus, make sure you schedule it first thing in the morning when your mind is fresher. It will give you satisfaction to cross it off your list – and will leave the less brain-taxing tasks for that low-blood sugar time in the afternoon.
Give yourself a break. Whether you like to take an hour for lunch or prefer a late afternoon break, make sure you give yourself time to relax and recharge. Maybe it’s time to eat a sandwich and catch up with friends online, or a chance to fit in your workouts, stepping away from the office is essential too.
Set aside time for household chores. One good way to get things done around the house is to designate a few minutes to throw a load of laundry in or take out the trash. These may be good ways to catch a short break and can help you stay productive around the house too. Be warned that these should not cut into your work time so anything more than 5-10 minutes should be saved for the evening or weekends.
Schedule your holiday shopping. If you’re a working mom, you know it’s vital to get your holiday purchases made while the kids are at school. Therefore, plan to go out once or twice a week during your lunch hour to get your shopping done. If you put it on your calendar for the weeks leading up to the holidays, you won’t feel burdened and will be able to power shop when you know your time is limited.
Plan ahead. Whether you prefer to use a daily planner or you like to keep everything in your Smart Phone, the best way to make sure tasks get accomplished is by scheduling your priorities. At the end of each week, take some time to prepare your “to-dos” for the week ahead. That way when you sit down on Monday morning, you’ll have a plan in place for the entire week.
By creating a clear distinction between your work and home responsibilities, you’ll be better able to concentrate on the job at hand – which will free up time to get ready for the holiday festivities ahead!
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, where recently she’s been researching kinesiology degrees and programs and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.