How to Keep Yourself on Track Through the Holiday Season
We’re heading into the holiday season, and that means lots of distractions. Shopping to be done, school events for the kids, parties… it’s all pretty hectic and when you work at home, that’s a problem. How can you keep on track with your work while still enjoying the holiday season?
Take Your Work Seriously
The first thing to do is to take your own work seriously. If something wouldn’t have been a distraction if you were working outside the home, should you let it distract you just because you’re working at home? Possibly so, possibly not.
One of the frequently stated advantages to working at home is the flexibility. This is the time of year to take advantage of that, so long as you don’t go overboard with it. Don’t skip work you can’t make up later, especially if it needs to get done. Take care of any obligations to your employer and/or clients. Forgetting them is not professional.
Know When to Say No
Too many people don’t understand that when you work at home, you aren’t always free to do things for them. You might be on the PTA/PTO and get a lot of requests to help out on committees, or you might have family or friends asking you to run favors. Just like the rest of the year, you need to know when to say no because you have to work.
This certainly doesn’t mean you say no to everything. If you can spare the time and want to get involved, do so. Just don’t do it at the expense of your work.
Rethink Your Schedule
Sometimes the schedule you usually keep won’t cut it during the holiday season. You may need to make more time for fun, shopping and so forth. Those work hours while the kids are at school, for example, may be better spent shopping for presents. Not every day, of course, but odds are you wouldn’t want to do all your shopping after the kids are in bed. Sometimes you have to make time during the day.
You may have to decide to stay up later or get up earlier so that you can handle daytime extras better. Pick whichever works best for you. I’m no early bird, so I stay up later if I can’t get things done during the day. That’s hard if I’m tired out from running errands or doing other things throughout the day, but it can be necessary.
That said, I love online shopping. No worry about store hours, I just do it when I feel like it. It doesn’t always replace shopping in person, but it’s a pretty good option most of the time.
This can be a great time to write out the things you need to get done each day even if you don’t normally do so. With a lot of extra things you need to do, sometimes you need just a little extra help in making sure you actually get it done. Writing it out may be just the boost you need.
Hire Help if Appropriate
Depending on the kind of work you do from home, you may be able to hire someone to help you get it all done. This is a great time to try hiring a virtual assistant for your business. It may add a little stress as you locate and train the right one, but it can be worth the effort.
Remember to Have Fun
Lots of people get far too stressed out about making the holiday season just perfect for their families. Don’t worry so much about perfect, just try to keep it fun.
Get out with your family and do something special, such as looking at holiday displays. Make a special treat together. Find something that fits into your schedule and make it special. It doesn’t have to be grand or expensive, just fun.