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The Christmas holiday season is eagerly anticipated. But the forthcoming festivities mean that the number of working days in the month is curtailed – and at a time when planning for the new business year makes life busier than ever.
So how can you maximise available working days to ensure a fully relaxing festive period? Richard Morris, UK CEO, of workspace provider Regus offers three top tips for a dynamic December.
Prioritise and schedule
It sounds obvious but prioritising tasks is particularly important during the shortened working month of December. Everyone works to different routines, but organisation and planning will help make each working day as efficient as possible.
Easily available hacks such as flagging priority emails and setting automated reminders can help you get on top of tasks. Also, consider whether meetings need to be face-to-face, or whether technology such as Skype can reduce time spent away from the desk.
Cut the commute
On average, UK workers spend around eight hours per week commuting to and from the office – the equivalent of an entire working day. Eliminating the commute – even for just a day or two – can help you maximise your working days in the run-up to Christmas.
Working from home is one way to get around the stress of commuting to the workplace. While not every full-time employee has this luxury, more and more organisations are allowing a certain number of days a week or month for their employees to report from home. According to the Office for National Statistics, a record proportion of employees, 4.2 million, were home workers in 2014. And with the increased access to technology and other applications like instant messaging and cloud storage over the last few years, the practice will only grow.
Working from home, however, isn’t for everyone. For those who still prefer a formal office setting without the office commute, the trick is to select a professional work environment that’s near to home and that enables you to turn up, plug in and get productive. Working from cafes or from home may sound appealing but these places can often be distracting.
Having this extra time at the beginning and end of each working day can really help you get on top of time-consuming yet essential tasks such as admin and accounting. What’s more, you’ll probably feel fresher and more energised from not having to do battle with timetables, traffic jams and the travelling hordes.
Incentivise and reward
It’s nearly Christmas – treat yourself! Set yourself goals and give yourself a small reward once you’ve ticked them off. A meal out, a drink with friends, a trip to the theatre – anything to make you feel good and to help you get through the task list.
Try not to let business matters encroach on leisure time. Set a deadline to wrap up your work each day and leave on time. This is easier said than done in today’s always-on digital age, but never feel guilty about logging out and enjoying some me–time.
With a little forethought and planning the December workload can be skilfully negotiated, leaving you free to fully embrace the Christmas break. Enjoy your time off – you’ve earned it.