The holidays are in full swing. I know that, no matter how much I swore this year would be different, I still find it difficult at to stay productive and ensure that I’m accomplishing my goals when holiday shopping and event planning are taking over my brain.
The holidays impact us at work in ways you may not realize. From home stressors such as family coming to visit and worries about purchasing gifts and staying on budget, to added work stressors such as handling possible time off for you or your staff, distractions of holiday parties or potlucks, and even office closures.
How do you make sure you and your fleet staff stay productive during this time of year, without losing your holiday spirit? Here are a few ideas:
- Plan ahead. If you know your office is going to close for a day or perhaps more, or if you or key staff members are going to be taking time off for vacation around the holidays, planning in advance can help make sure work still gets done.
- Be ready. In addition to planning ahead, be ready for a few busier days before the holiday season is in full swing. Knowing in advance that you may have a few days with a little more on your plate can help prepare you mentally for the task. And, instead of feeling like you just had a busier day, remember that a little extra effort now will reduce your stress and help you remain productive while still enjoying the holidays.
- Stay on task. If you don’t normally keep a list of things “to accomplish” during your day, now is definitely the time to do so. When your mind is distracted with holiday shopping and added work piled up because of holiday closures, knowing exactly what you need to accomplish before you clock out is key to staying on task.
- Determine temp needs. Many people are looking for temp work over the holidays to earn a little extra holiday spending cash. If you have a lot of employees taking time off, or if company closures are adding far too many things to your to-do list in the weeks leading up to the end of the year, consider hiring temp workers for some of the easier tasks. This can free up your time to handle the extra responsibilities needed to keep your fleet running smoothly.
- Don’t shop at work. One way to keep employees more productive is to block the ability to shop online during work hours. Inform staff that work hours are for working and that shopping should be done on their own time. And follow this advice yourself.
- Encourage vacations. If possible, encourage employees to take some time off. If they are overstressed and have too much to do, taking a day or two off can help clear their mind and provide time to finish the cleaning, shopping, wrapping, and planning. Meaning a more focused brain when at work.
- Get into the holiday spirit! Regardless of what holiday you celebrate, don’t forget to get into the holiday spirit. If you can find something you enjoy in all the annual madness, it can help make the more stressful days a little bit more enjoyable. Think about a Secret Santa gift exchange, holiday party, etc. The holidays are only a short time each year, make the most of it.
When in doubt, ask yourself this: Do I want to remember the holidays as fun or full of stress? Do I want my employees to enjoy themselves? If your memories are currently stressful or you are fairly certain your nickname at work is “The Grinch,” it’s time to start thinking of ways to make it fun.
How do you stay productive during the holidays? Do you have any ideas or recommendations that have worked for your operation?
E-mail me, let’s chat!
Lauren Fletcher, executive editor
Work Truck magazine