Like many of you, yesterday was my first day back in the office after what I had hoped would be a serene and calming Christmas holiday (but what became – as per usual – a non-stop cavalcade of cooking, wrapping up presents, cooking, meeting up with friends and family, and yet more cooking). Saying that, it was lovely, if ever so slightly rushed and hectic!
I am, however, glad to say that my return to work was anything but hectic. Although, if I'm honest, it did take me a little while longer (and slightly more coffee) to catch up on my workload. But, unlike my manic Christmas holiday, I felt calmly in control. I had (somehow) managed to get through that familiar workload "crush" that builds up just before the holiday season and navigate the often endless To-Do Lists that seem to mount up in the pre-Christmas build up. The trick, I found, was to work through everything systematically, prioritize tasks where necessary and keep on top of my workload by staying organized throughout. I also tried my best to avoid the inevitable distractions that come with the Christmas period. Although I will admit to taking a quick break or two for the odd mince pie and festive greeting (wouldn't want to be a scrooge after all!).
My reward... a (relatively) easy return to work. Phew! I only wish that the same could be said of my actual holiday.
Your Tips for Managing Workloads During the Holidays
Before Christmas, we asked our friends and followers on social media for tips on how they stayed focused on their workloads during the holidays. We got a number of brilliant responses, which are included below.
Facebook friend Jessy Cooper, from Toronto, Canada, used the holiday season to catch up on her own personal learning and development. She said: "Holidays, Christmas in particular, are the time frames when most of our clients, partners, colleagues, etc. are relaxed and wish to retreat... in between the celebration there is a great opportunity to learn something new without on-going pressure of long 'to-do lists.' Personally I prefer to join a couple of interesting and useful webinars, and thus learn some new trends as well as discuss them with other participants..."
LinkedIn follower Martin Hipwell, a first aid trainer at the British Red Cross, also used the holiday season to take a step back and have some "reflection" time. He said that it was also a good time to improve his "work/home balance."
As usual, our friends on Twitter were quick to offer some handy hints and tips on how they managed to keep on top of their workload and stay focused during the holiday period. Here is a sample of some of the replies that we received:
- @cohldc: "We plan ahead and remind ourselves that the holidays are a joyful time of year."
- @Sophiehoward247: "I find taking regular breaks to eat mince pies and sing Christmas tunes works wonders."
- @abidma09: "I just catch up on all my education and training modules that have been pending for the year! And a lot of house keeping!"
- @ecookie65: "I often work at home but during the holidays I went into the office to be part of a productive environment. It also got me up!"
Thank you to all our contributors over the holiday season. If you have any further tips or tools to share with us about how you stay focused during the holidays or if you found anything particularly useful during the recent Christmas period, add to the debate in the comments section below.