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November 21, 2016 By John Boitnott

How to Get More Done and Survive the Holidays at Your Home Office

November 21, 2016

By John Boitnott

Read More from John Boitnott

November 21, 2016

How to Get More Done and Survive the Holidays at Your Home Office

By John Boitnott
Contributor

Gobble, gobble. The holidays are here and we’ve got some tips to help you survive!

The holidays are a time of the year when there is an entirely different slate of distractions and duties. Working from home can be a great way to balance your time and cut back on expenses, but you need to make sure you are doing it right. You’ll save real money on gas, parking, dry cleaning and much more (money that can go towards checking some items off Santa’s list perhaps?!). However, you’ll need a high level of self-discipline to make sure you are getting the most out of your work day, while still including time for family and friends. While many people have their own time-management systems that work best for them, some practices work well for just about everyone. Here are some of the best ways to get more done from your home office during this wonderful time of year.

Physically Divide Work and Home

Even if you don’t have an extra room in your home that can serve as an office, you can create divisions that not only help you get in working mode, but also let others know that you are at work and not really available to watch Frosty the Snowman. You may want to be really obvious about it and create an actual physical division.

  • Use partition walls to create a space if you don’t have a home office. Either way, let people know when you will be available to cut down on the interruptions. This can help keep other adults who are off work for the holidays out of your space.
  • Set timers to start and end the day and to notify you of specific break times throughout the day. The sound lets you and others in the home know what part of the day it is, and it may even help create a more professional atmosphere.
  • Invest in ear buds. Really, noise-cancelling headphones probably work best, but earbuds can also be a physical indicator that you are working, even if you don’t have any music playing on them.
  • Use holiday decorations to spice up your mood and productivity levels. Play holiday music in the background.

Avoid Social Media

Easier said than done with this one obviously. I know very few people who don’t spend a chunk of time on this each day, whether it’s on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, or whatever else. Social media is one of the biggest productivity killers you’ll face, and all the physical barriers in the world won’t help if you’re hopelessly addicted to it. Try and cut down on your social media time to keep distractions to a minimum this time of year. Also, if you use a messaging app while working, consider silencing it or getting your colleagues to move over to an app that isn’t as distracting and can actually help with your productivity.

Track Your Time

If you work from home, you may not be getting paid by the hour, but you still need to know where your time is going. At the same time, it’s important that you also allow yourself breaks during which you can celebrate the holiday season. Tracking your hours helps you see just how much you have worked and can help you determine just how much time you can afford to take off.

Now go enjoy that turkey!
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