How to Stay Productive for Holiday Season
As creatives, whether you’re a photographer editing a client’s photos in time for the holidays or an artist anxiously waiting on a record deal, the grind never stops. After all, being an entrepreneur and independent creative, you’re already juggling so many hats.
The holiday season is a gold mine for the creative industry. You’ll find yourself working into overdrive preparing for it. Life can be fantastically overwhelming during this time but we’re here to help you learn how to manage it.
Around this time of year, the air becomes crisp, yet magical and while many of us are feeling the holiday buzz, you may also feel stressed. Yes, that weird feeling where you’re not really sure why and what you’re stressed about but you’re definitely stressed?
A recent survey by Heathline found a majority of people experience holiday stress. Generation X (65%), millennials (61%), and baby boomers (62%) were among those who reported feeling stress as early as the week before Thanksgiving.
The holiday season is supposed to be about appreciation and gratitude. But when dealing with family dynamics, gifts, traveling, scheduling, healthy eating, friends, relationships, and being the innovative mogul you are, it's easy to see how you could get stressed.
Two important tips to avoid seasonal stress are: stay productive and relaxed. Productive and relaxed? Sounds contradictory at first tune, but no worries, you’ll see how well they collaborate together. Learn how to get things done and let yourself enjoy the upcoming holiday season with these simple but effective tips:
Envision Your Goals
Close your eyes and envision yourself checking things off your to-do list. Now, open your eyes and make that to-do list. Write everything you want to finish before the holidays. Sounds silly, but productivity originates from your mind. If your mind is clear and focused, that list of action items should translate intimidating tasks into accessible ones.
Take a glance at your checklist once it is complete. Now, break it up into small goals. For instance, if one task on your list is to set up tree decorations, break it down into:
Buy a tree (list some stores you can purchase one).
Decorations to use (list ones you already own and any you want to buy).
Schedule a date to spend decorating (that’s the fun part).
Set A Schedule
Set deadlines for each task on your checklist to be achieved before the holiday season. Setting goals and tracking progress will keep you organized and on track. Keep notes in your calendar and cross-reference this with your checklist. Don’t forget to give yourself a celebratory day for accomplishing goals by your deadline!
What if you could be productive while spending time with friends and family? Easy! Find a friend to go gift shopping with (of course not the one you are buying for) or ask your sister to come over and decorate with you. Ask around for news of any travel deals. If your workload is heavy, ask a colleague for guidance or let your manager know. Nobody succeeds alone, everyone needs help. Don't be afraid to ask for it. Your support system is here for you.
Treat Yo Self
As the brilliant fashionista and charismatic entrepreneur, Tom Haverford once said "Treat. Yo. Self." Of course, for the sake of productivity, we mean treat yourself for your accomplishments.
Don't race against the clock and overwork yourself. Having break time can help your brain cool down and switch gears. If you finished decorating your tree, have a seat. Make a nice cup of your favorite drink and do something different like take a walk for fresh air, bake cookies or read a chapter of your newest book. This simple method helps recharge stamina and reduce burnout. You will return to your checklist refreshed and pumped to achieve your goals.
Last but not least, always remind yourself how blessed you are. Life will never run out of things to stress about, but how you handle that stress makes all the difference. There is so much to appreciate about life and as busy creative entrepreneurs, sometimes we forget to enjoy it. A healthy mind is a perfect way to start the holiday season. You got this!