It’s hard to believe another year has almost already come and gone. Preemptive
But before you say goodbye to 2015, it’s imperative that you do your due diligence at the office to make sure you’re able to kick back and relax during the holidays — and hit the ground running when you return in 2016 or sooner, depending on the nature of your gig and how much time off you have.
Since the holidays are hectic, work can become brutal during the month of December. With that in mind, let’s take a look at five tips you can employ to ensure you’ll remain a productive member of the team when you return from your holiday break.
1. Take a day off to run your billion errands.
Everyone needs a day to run around town (or sit in front of Amazon) to grab gifts for family, friends and loved ones. You could, of course, choose to do these chores on a weekend, but you’d then be competing against countless other folks who are doing the same thing.
Instead of trying to squeeze all of your errands into the evenings and weekends, consider taking off a random Tuesday in the beginning of December, for example. That way, you can complete all of your shopping and errands (or at least most of them) early on in the month. And when you’re in the office, you can devote 100 percent of your energy to work — not to wondering where you’re going to go after 5 p.m. rolls around.
2. Conquer your inclinations to procrastinate.
You may very well be tempted to slack off as the holidays approach. You might figure none of your clients really need any deliverables until after the holidays are over, so you may as well take it easy knowing you’ll be slammed when you get back from your time off.
The thing is, there’s a good chance you’re not going to want to work incredibly hard when you return from your holiday break either. So instead of procrastinating, try to get everything done you possibly can before you go on vacation. That way, you will have a smooth landing when you return from work.
3. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
You may be tempted to say “yes” whenever a coworker or manager asks you whether you can add another task to your plate. It is the holiday season, after all, and you’d like to give back to the folks you care about.
While the gesture is certainly a nice one, be careful not to take on more responsibilities than you can reasonably handle. You don’t want to inadvertently force yourself to have to work late hours because you have way too much to do — all because you volunteered.
4. Communicate directly with all of your clients.
By maintaining open lines of communication with your clients, all involved parties will know exactly what’s expected. In doing this, you won’t have to work 18-hour days before Christmas, for example, so you can wrap up a project your client really doesn’t need until January 15.
If, for whatever reason, you can’t get a firm answer as to what precisely your clients expect during the holidays, you could always under-promise and over-deliver.
5. Don’t stop exercising.
Exercise promotes work productivity. Though it might be hard to maintain your workout schedule when the days get shorter and the weather gets worse, by all means, don’t write off exercising altogether.
By keeping up with regular exercise, you can be confident you’ll have the energy necessary to work in overdrive during the holiday season if need be. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about putting on a bunch of weight that is typically associated with the baked sweets and other candies that seem to populate office kitchens this time of year.
By planning ahead and setting yourself up to succeed when you come back to the office after the holidays, you can rest comfortably knowing your boss, your coworkers and your clients will be thrilled with your efforts — even during a time when lots of folks traditionally drop the ball. Good luck!
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