Is there any time of year more delightful than the winter holiday season? It's chock-full of fun, festivities-and distractions-and it'll be here before you know it. So how can you resist the lure of making holiday lists, shopping and decorating when you should be working?
The best strategy is a realistic one. First, be sure the work you're forcing yourself to do really needs to be done. This is a stressful time of year, and increasing your stress level by setting unrealistic goals only adds to the problem. If something can wait until after the holidays, let it wait.
It's critical to plan ahead. Before the holiday season kicks into high gear, check with your clients to determine what their holiday schedules are and how they'll affect you. Also, if you want to take time off for yourself, you may need to coordinate that with your regular clients.
You can also join a small-business networking group, where members can motivate one another to stay focused during the holiday season. Also, if your having trouble completing routine work, tackle year-end tasks instead, which keeps you productive but still provides a change of pace.
But sometimes, the best strategy is to briefly give in to the lure of the holidays. Take a break, do a little holiday shopping-but then get back to work.