As excitement for the Christmas holidays waxes, motivations wane. December is often a difficult month in the office, with colleagues slowing down or, worse, disappearing on leave.
So what can you do to combat the festive slowdown?
Focus on what you can do
Accept the fact that there will be certain things you won’t be able to do during the holiday period. Major projects will probably top the list, so focusing on the smaller tasks will help keep you productive. Devote your attention to the things you can accomplish and come back to the remainder in the new year.
Embrace the holiday spirit
A drop in morale is one reason people become less productive in December, so bringing the Christmas spirit into the office is a great way to energise the workforce. Decorations, Santa hats and festive jumpers will keep people smiling as they work. And some cheeky chocolate and mince pies won’t go amiss either.
Help your colleagues
If you see your colleagues falling behind, offer to help instead of being a judgemental Scrooge. Since many people will be heading out on holiday soon, it’s good to offer to help cover their workload while they’re away. They will appreciate your generosity and are more likely to help you out when you take your holidays.
The end of the year is a great time to go through everything that’s been piling up on your desk. That goes for digital filing as well – clearing your email inbox for the new year will help you get off to a good start.
Use the holidays to reconnect
Over the year, you’ll have worked with lots of people, whether colleagues, suppliers or clients. The holidays provide an excellent excuse to get back in touch. The same goes for that guy you met at that networking event back in March but lost touch with over the summer – a quick “Happy Christmas” email is the perfect way to reopen the lines of communication.
Set your goals for the new year
Everyone makes new year’s resolutions for their personal life, but making some professional ones will give you tangible goals to work towards. These are your goals for yourself, and shouldn’t be the same as your normal objectives. Think about skills you want to improve or projects you’d like to work on. What do you want to accomplish by this time next year?
Buy business supplies
Black Friday and similar sales are great for buying Christmas gifts – but they are also great for buying new office supplies. Do you need a new printer or computer? If you work from home or run your own business, this can be a particularly good way to save some extra petty cash.
Make time for family
The most important thing this time of year is to spend time with friends and family. Don’t get too caught up with work, and make a point of setting aside time to be with the people you love.
Image: Ruth Hartnup