The holiday season can often be a stressful and hectic time at many workplaces. You may be facing projects that must be completed by the year’s end, while feeling drained from the amount of work you have put in, and at the same time there are social commitments and other family and personal affairs that demand your attention. This causes productivity in the workforce to suffer.
It is important that you don’t allow your output (and consequently, your professional image) to suffer during the weeks to come. Instead of falling into the seasonal inefficiency trap, here is a list of actionable steps to enhance performance in the workplace:
- Prioritise. Get your tasks and projects, both personal and professional, into a digital or paper system and out of your head. Then, prioritise according to when you will complete your most important tasks; mornings tend to be the optimal time to complete projects that require attention and focus as energy levels are at their peak. Save bleak, repetitive tasks for the afternoon, when your energy level is low.
- Avoid multitasking. When you are harassed and pressed for time, it is easy to start one project and then bounce to another without finishing the first. At the end of the day you are exhausted but haven’t accomplished as much as you would have hoped to. The key is to focus and accomplish a certain number of tasks every day.
- Leave some time for planning. The end of the year is not only for cramming to finish important projects – it is also an ideal time to plan ahead and see what you would like to accomplish in the next 12 months. Try to take stock of where you are at, both personally and professionally, what you have achieved this year, what you want your goals for the coming year to be, and how you plan to accomplish them.
– Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, eLearning. firstname.lastname@example.org.
First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser On December 23, 2012.