Christmas is just around the corner. The upcoming holiday period and time spent relaxing with family and friends is etching itself more prominently into your thoughts. For many of us, being busy at work isn’t limited to a few periods during certain months of the year; it’s full-on all year round. We understand it can be difficult to remain 100% focused as the end of the year draws closer by the day, so we’ve compiled a few pointers to help you remain productive. Prioritise – Acknowledge that this time of year is a busy period. Therefore, develop a priority list. This will ensure you have a clear focus on the task at hand and more time can be spent being productive and directed towards the most pressing projects. Setting clear deadlines in November and December also goes hand in hand with creating a list of priorities. Establish (or maintain) a routine – If you’ve already got a routine that works, don’t let it lapse. If you don’t have one, get one. Establishing routines around the way you carry out regular tasks makes you more efficient and productive. For example, create email rules to automate checking mail, responding to routine requests and archiving emails. This also works for opening, reading and filing physical documents. In the same way, set routines for starting and completing new projects or delegating tasks to others. Minimise distractions – Yes, it’s hard; everybody gets distracted at the best of times, particularly close to the holiday period. Stick to the mantra of ‘if it’s not work, it’s a distraction’. o Check your personal emails only once a day (during your break) o Turn your mobile phone off if you don’t need it for work and check your messages in your own time o Set a limited amount of time to surf the web o Don’t gossip with colleagues around the coffee machine Deal with things immediately – If a minor issue comes up that can be dealt with quickly, deal with it right away; don’t postpone it. We don’t recommend doing this for larger tasks though. We’re not saying don’t look forward to the holiday period, just ensure you remain on track with your work. If you remain productive right up until the end of the working year, your time spent with friends and family over this period will be much more rewarding.