As the end of the year approaches, many small business owners find themselves in a rush toward the finish line – all of the goals, milestones, and achievements you worked towards in 2014 culminate in a mad dash to do as much as possible before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve.
That’s why it may surprise you to learn that the best ways to be more productive during the holidays have little to do with burning the midnight oil.
Instead, productivity experts recommend a whole lot of relaxation, time with friends and family, and even – gasp! – fun.
Here are 5 simple ways to be more productive as you transition from 2014 to 2015.
1. Breathe and Regroup
With just a few weeks left in the year and the holidays in full swung, you may be tempted to continue ticking to-do’s off your list.
Instead, take a deep breath and a good, hard look at everything you’ve accomplished in 2014. Review everything you have achieved and be sure to give yourself credit! Also, be honest with yourself about what didn’t work and what you’re going to change next year in order to reach your goals.
Getting clear on what happened in the past year is infinitely more effective than scrambling to the finish line!
2. Work Less
While you’re regrouping and taking deep breaths, you can enhance your productivity even further by working less during the holidays.
Working less prevents burnout in the New Year by giving you the chance to enjoy family, friends, and downtime during your much-earned break. If you catch yourself strapped to your laptop while everyone else is enjoying eggnog, be sure to power down and join the fun.
3. Have Fun and Get Creative
Speaking of fun, it is fun and creativity that help you be more productive and come up with your greatest ideas. Steve Jobs used to recommend doing something completely unrelated to your work in order to inspire your work in unexpected ways.
So decorate cookies, go sledding with the kids, take a painting class, or do something else you consider fun and frivolous.
4. Give Back
Giving to others – whether it’s your money or simply your time – is a wonderful way to be more productive during the holidays. Not only will you feel great about yourself, you’ll be creating a “successful psychology” for your business: giving to others has a positive impact on your sense of self and your ability to accomplish anything.
5. Set Goals for 2015
The only thing more important than taking a good, hard look at 2014 is setting goals for 2015. But forget the New Year’s Resolutions. Instead, you’ll be more productive if you set short-term, achievable goals over the course of a few months. Break up bigger goals into achievable action steps, and don’t forget to evaluate your progress and adjust your goals if need be.
The best ways to be more productive this holiday season include analyzing your progress in 2014, working less, doing something fun and unrelated to work, giving back financially or through volunteering, and setting realistic, short-term goals for 2015.
With these 5 techniques, you’re sure to make this your most productive – and most relaxing – holiday season ever!
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