December should be a fun and exciting time with everyone celebrating the years achievements and getting prepared for the holidays. However for many companies December is a franticly busy and stressful period more endured than enjoyed.
Yet even if December is your busiest month it still doesn’t need to be stressful and difficult find out how.
The following are some tips on how to handle the working December period.
Have a Realistic Plan
Having a realistic plan to manage all your commitments in December is key.
Many of us will be taking additional holiday as well as having both additional work and family commitments including the office party, children’s school plays and fundraisers.
All these events will impact on the time we have in December for example if you are taking off the two weeks over Christmas and New Year you probably have 30% less work time than a regular working month.
This is why having a realistic plan needs to take into account not just what needs to be completed, but also the time you have to complete it in.
With less work time available we need to prioritise our tasks to make sure none of the critical jobs get missed.
List out everything on your task list for December then group these into:
- must do tasks
- useful tasks
- low priority tasks.
Anything low priority can immediately be put off till January to give you some breathing space.
Must do tasks need obvious priority and planning into our schedule, while useful tasks can be tackled if you have sufficient time. Be flexible with useful tasks in the sense complete them if you can or move them to next month if you can’t
When planning your must do tasks keep in mind that you may need support or input from others both inside or outside your company.
It’s good to check as early as possible that you will have the resources to hand to complete these tasks. Remember other people will be just as busy as you are so might need a friendly early reminder that the task is a priority.
Be sure to communicate clearly with other about which tasks are a priority and which ones can wait until after Christmas. This way you can ensure everyone works efficiently together and that precious time isn’t wasted.
Being Ready for the New Year
Its good practice before going on Christmas break to note down a brief plan of action for when you get back in the office in January.
This shouldn’t be a list of all the jobs you didn’t get done to obsess about over the holidays rather a mental exercise to both clear your mind and ensure you have a quick reference guide for getting back into action in the New Year.
Follow these tips and you should have a productive and less stressful working December knowing you have everything under control.