How to stay productive during the holidays

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

With relatives visiting from out of town, kids on winter break and a Bay Area office operating with a skeleton crew, staying focused at work can be tough. And while taking a more passive approach with your work projects may feel like the natural thing to do during the holidays, making mistakes at the office affects your career at any time of the year. Here are a few suggestions to help you stay productive during the festive season.

Because calendars tend to fill up during the holidays with social activities, many people find themselves with less time to run their errands. But as tempting as it is to pick up a few groceries or drop off your dry cleaning during one of your work breaks, trying to squeeze additional tasks into your day will only make things more hectic. Not to mention it’s draining to push yourself harder during a time associated with more social obligations. This is why the first step to staying productive during this busy part of the year is to set a strict boundary between your work and your home projects. Create a separate to-do list for each and try not to make your lists too long. Doing this will not just help with keeping things in order, but also aid with stress reduction as well.

If you find yourself putting hours in to cover for colleagues on vacation, asking for time off may be hard. However, you may be able to negotiate coming in an hour later or leaving an hour earlier. You can then use this time to run errands and keep your projects at work from being affected in any way.

Staying productive during the holidays can be difficult to do—especially if half of your coworkers are out on vacation. Still, by keeping your work projects related to work, you will find it easier to stay focused.

Belo Cipriani is a staffing professional, an award-winning author, a spokesperson for Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the career expert for the Ed Baxter Show on Talk Radio San Francisco 910AM. Learn more at

Belo Cipriani