7 Easy Ways to Stay Productive and Engaged During the Holidays
Hold up! Don't book that flight yet. Press pause on that heavy Christmas party planning with your friends and family. Remember that you're a freelancer and need to hustle to get paid.
With that in mind, you need a strategy to stay productive even on your much-needed downtime. More than anyone, freelancers need a strategy for the holidays. The ideal time to devise your strategy is a month before, especially if you’re planning to go on a vacation.
Here’s a set of strategies that can help you out. You can adapt or personalise it to inspire your productivity.
A Guide on How to be Productive During the Holidays
1. Go for an early Christmas shopping
Christmas shopping hinders productivity and consumes a lot of your time. Make a list of things to buy beforehand and get it over with — a whole month before the holidays if possible. There are also a lot of ecommerce websites nowadays — take advantage of them by doing your shopping online instead.
Your goal is to tick off every box on that list before the holiday rush to focus on getting as much work done as possible.
2. Plan your break early
You can’t deny that the cold season affects everyone’s productivity. It’s bad for office workers and even worse for freelancers. Have you tried motivating yourself to work when the weather outside tempts you to sleep? Or turn on your computer when all you want to do is stare out the window for another hour? We know, it’s not easy when your nice, warm bed is luring you for another hour of rest.
Let's be realistic — no one can work 'round the clock. So give in and take a long break.
Breaks prevent you from burning out. So to renew your mind and inspire creativity just in time for the holidays, schedule your annual long break before the Christmas season. Your vacation can be anywhere. It can be a tropical destination with lots of palm trees. It can be your bed, a prime spot for hibernation until you need to get productive again.
3. Create a holiday schedule calendar and stick with it
Don’t leave room for distractions. You are on a tight schedule since you’re going to leave a week or two for your much-needed vacation. An organized planner or calendar of your tasks for the season helps you focus more on work and finish it on time.
4. Look for jobs with passive income
You think you can’t be productive once your vacation starts? You can still earn money during your downtime through jobs with passive income. And they are great if you want to earn a little bit extra while cutting your work short during the holidays. In the long-term, passive income can even become one of your primary sources of money.
Start with ideas that bring in money during the peak season:
Sell Christmas-themed crafts on websites like Etsy, Artfire, or other niche marketplaces
Write holiday stories and self-publishing on platforms like Amazon
Feature popular holiday topics in your blog or vlog
5. Stay healthy
Working on too many tasks while neglecting your health is counterproductive. You won’t be able to keep your work up if you’re suddenly feeling ill. Fatigue is a sneaky culprit; be careful not to get sick from overworking. Drink lots of water and make sure you have an ample supply of vitamins and meds.
6. Use your holiday vacation as positive reinforcement
How many times in a year can you give yourself a break? And by that, we mean really allow yourself to unwind, without worrying about work?
Your holiday break is a positive and uplifting thing to look forward to. If you have set your vacation at the end of the year, place that on top of your vision board to motivate you. This may be a small thing, but it can inspire you to finish everything before your vacation begins.
7. Prepare everything for your return to work
Before you start your break, make sure everything’s laid out and set in your return. Organize your client list, both potential and existing. Lay out the commissions and projects you have for 2019. And ready New Year welcome posts for your website and social media pages to set your new work year right.
Bonus: Relax and have fun!
When you go on a holiday, strip off your work persona and put on vacation goggles. This is an opportunity for you to take a break from your email, your work group chat, and your projects. Letting your mind relax from all the stresses of work is good for you. Clear your mind as you start a positive new year.