It’s always good to have a bank of time management tips, but even more so at this time of year. December has arrived and with it all the excitement and stress that Christmas provides.
For those working in Retail, or other industries directly affected by Christmas, December represents a hectic, steadily progressive Month. For others, it means a month of gradual winding down to the Christmas holidays and Christmas itself. Whatever, your situation, here are some time management tips that can help you to manage your time effectively, so that December involves less stress, a more productive use of your time and more fun.
Less planning, more action
Knowing what you need to do and planning how you’re going to achieve it, is a good idea. However, spending hours on the planning part is not a productive use of your time. Spend a few minutes in the morning deciding what your main priorities are and compiling a to-do list. Then at the end of each day, assess what you’ve achieved and what you need to do tomorrow. Don’t overthink the planning.
We all have tasks that we put off, often because they seem a huge task or we don’t feel equipped to do them properly. If it’s the former, just getting started on part of it can help. As once we’re making progress with something, it can seem less onerous and we often carry on with it. If it’s the latter, maybe it’s time to outsource that task instead of dreading it.
Set goals and deadlines
This is especially important if December is a short month for you, with many Schools breaking up on 19th December and many companies not long after, until the New Year. This means that there are only really 2 full working weeks left to accomplish what you need to, before the end of the year. Work out what absolutely needs to be completed and set deadlines to achieve it. Don’t find yourself rushing around on your last working day.
This is easier to achieve in December with all the chocolates and Christmas parties available. Once you’ve set your goals and achieved each of your deadlines allow yourself a treat, it makes the hard work worthwhile and keeps you motivated into the future.
When you’re working hard during your two full productive December weeks, or the whole of December for some, make sure you take regular breaks. Breaks allow you to mentally refresh your brain. If you walk around a bit too, it can also help with posture and reduce back/shoulder aches and pains, leading to more productivity and less ailments.
Change your behaviour
It might be cold and dark in the mornings but if you can get up earlier and start work before some of your colleagues arrive, you can get more done in these two productive weeks. You might find that you enjoy the extra productivity and take the habit into the New Year.
If you have something important to complete, close your office door (if you have one), turn off your phone and log out of your email inbox and Social Media. The lack of distractions should enable you to focus on the tasks at hand. Even if you only manage to do this for one hour a day, you will notice the increase in productivity.
Hopefully these time management tips will ensure that you have a productive and enjoyable December. No doubt you’ll be busy with Christmas shopping and festivities, so if you can be organised with your work, it will alleviate some of the accumulative stress that Christmas can offer.
How long are you taking off for the festive period? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
Till Next Time
Mike Gardner is The Time Doctor