How to Stay Productive over the Holidays

How to Stay Productive over the HolidaysAs the Christmas season gets underway, do you find yourself filled more with stressful to-do lists than with holiday cheer? This is definitely a time of year when organization is key to success — and the good news is that it’s really not very hard to organize yourself. Here are three simple tips for how to stay productive and keep the season’s special joy in your heart:

Narrow your focus

If you try to think of everything you have to accomplish all at once, you may feel overwhelmed. To keep your cool, try the “This task and the next one” technique: Put everything out of your mind except the activity you’re engaged in right this minute, and the one you’re going to do next. Once you shift over to the second activity, then think of one task that comes next in line. When you’re not walking around under the continuous burden of worrying about everything at once, you’ll find that you have much more energy. This technique also allows you to stay in the moment, noticing the small bits of loveliness around you.

Make a “triaged” list

“Triage” is the sorting process that hospital staff use, when their emergency room is full of people who all want attention right away. The real emergencies are handled first, while lower-level problems have to wait their turn.You can achieve the calm competence of these professionals by prioritizing your tasks: On your favorite calendar or notepad, take a few minutes to write down everything you need or want to do. Then sort your list with different colored pens or stars, so that all the crucial items are grouped together. You might have to cut a few corners on the less important things, but by making choices you’ll have a sense of being in control.

Use home office supplies that make you happy

When you treat yourself to a special calendar or set of organizer books that exactly suit your style, you are subconsciously telling yourself that your happiness matters. Most of the tasks you’re organizing are probably about taking care of other people — so allowing yourself the most satisfying tools for this effort is a small but powerful way to nurture yourself.

The holidays really are full of delight; with these simple focusing techniques, you’ll clear your mind and let the joy come flooding in!