I love this time of year – Christmas parties, cookie baking (or Chex Mix making!), family gatherings, and all the twinkle lights a girl can handle! As much as I enjoy it, however, I also dread it. It was easier to work through the holidays when I drove to an office and had to be accountable to others. Now that I work from my living room in my Christmas pajama pants in front of my Christmas tree, motivation is harder to find.
This week – the last few days before the family celebrations begin – is the hardest. I want to start prepping for our family dinner. The house needs to be cleaned. Maybe one I should make one more batch of Chex Mix. There’s always a reason to avoid work!
If you struggle with the work-from-home holiday doldrums, here are five simple tricks for staying motivated through this final holiday stretch.
- Make a list. Check it twice. Make lists, and ease your anxiety. By putting it in writing, you reduce the risk of forgetting an ingredient or present. Check the list twice to make sure you’re only including those things that need to be done (sure you need a Christmas dessert, but does it have to be made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls and cookies?).
- Set small, reasonable goals. Nothing motivates me more than success! If I need to finish reading and reviewing a book, I don’t set a goal of reading the book – I determine to read one chapter per day. After I finish one chapter, I’m inspired to read a second. And if I don’t read the second, at least I’ve achieved my goal.
- Take frequent breaks. Don’t try to force your way through eight, uninterrupted hours of work. Not only is it not recommended for your health’s sake, taking breaks also let you rest your brain for a few minutes, which can help reinvigorate your motivation.
- Use your breaks wisely. Stressing about your holiday house guests? Take advantage of your breaks to get your house ready. I often take one break to tidy the kitchen. During another, I’ll vacuum the house. I can re-motivate my mind while checking items off my holiday list.
- Go easy on yourself. The holidays only come one a year. Don’t be afraid to enjoy them! If you don’t get as much done leading up to Christmas, be willing to work a little harder the week after. Unless you’re on a specific, immovable deadline, it’s okay to go easy on yourself.
Now that you’ve taken a few minutes away from work to read this post (thanks for that!), it’s time to get back to work (at least until the weekend). Merry Christmas!
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