This year, holidays may seem a bit different because we’ve spent nearly the entire year at our homes. For many people, the distinction between working hours and private hours seems to be overlapping. However, this is not the case, not really. Work is work, no matter where the office is, and holidays are still holidays.

Quality time spent with family and friends should be cherished - no matter the circumstances.

The main issue also remains the same: how do we balance our activities and remain productive during the holidays?

Let’s take a look at a couple of tips.

1. Use the Additional Time Well

Because there will be no working hours during the holidays, this means that you’ll have whole days at your disposal. When was the last time you had a couple of mornings off?

Many people tend to procrastinate because it seems there is plenty of time for everything, but we don’t recommend it. First, enjoying your time off doing things you like to do and lazing off are two completely different things.

While schedules during the holidays may be somewhat forced, they still can be helpful. Why not make a draft of your daily activities? It doesn’t necessarily have to be too strict, but at least allocate loose time slots for each activity to avoid wasting hours online on meaningless actions (e.g., browsing your emails all day long and revisiting your social media profiles).

2. Get the Accounting and Important Applications Out of the Way

For most people, the end of the year spells two worries: applications for the following year and taxes. Well, nobody wants to wait for the last day of the year to worry about the taxes and plan for the year ahead. Plus, it’s also important to make sure that all of your documents are in order, including insurance policies and other important applications that need to be filed.

That’s why this is the right time to get it over with in stride. Take your time to complete the paperwork and make plans for the following period.

With the experience we’ve amassed in 2020, many people have expanded their views and look at a number of things in a new light. The uncertainties that popped up out of the blue merely months ago have taught us that there are more ways to go about our jobs and lives overall than we used to think.

Some people are reconsidering going fully remote. Others are looking towards the gig economy for additional opportunities. Whichever category you happen to belong to, one thing is certain: the next year will be different - but taxes won’t be going away any time soon.  

3. Optimize Your Work

By extension, remote work has shown us that work can be performed more efficiently and be less costly if we reorganize things a bit. Using employee-communication apps can really change things up and provide the organization and engagement that we need.

For example, lean operations have proven to be a good way to go about doing business, but they don’t necessarily apply only to employers.

Why not think about how you can improve your productivity while saving as much time as possible and decreasing your expenses?

Certainly, it calls for some planning, but the new year is, after all, all about our plans for the next year.

4. Get Your Email Routine Straight

Constantly checking your emails is one of the main problems of our times. We do it all day long, no matter the circumstances. It is a well known fact that every task interruption leads to time wasted on getting back on track.

For starters, turn off your notifications. Seriously, holidays are the time of the year when we should be stress-free. This doesn’t mean that you should forget about your inbox. Quite the contrary.

Set up two time slots for checking new emails, optimally once in the morning and once in the evening. In this way, you won’t miss a single incoming message, but you won’t be stressing over every single notification throughout the day.

5. Treat Yourself to a New Skill

If ever there was a time to learn anything that interests you, it is now. With e-learning and online training getting stronger by the second, why not allocate some time to treat yourself to a course you’ve always wanted to master?

This doesn’t necessarily have to be work related, but somehow everything we learn turns out to be used for jobs in the end. There are great many online courses by respectable institutions available to people anywhere in the world, so this just might be the time to look them up.

6. Stay Positive!

Running the risk of sounding like a psychologist, we’ll say that staying positive is one of the most important (if not the very most important) things to keep in mind.

Rather than advertising exercise and whatever, we’d argue that setting realistic goals and having realistic expectations is the way to go about things.

Why not make a resolution to improve yourself so that you’ll be happier, not richer? Because many people have learned that jobs can be remote, there are now more opportunities than ever to make our lives the way we want them to live. If you’re unhappy about your office work, change it! It is both possible and sustainable - you only need to be realistic and persistent.

7. Enjoy Online Partying

Truly, this year we have somewhat downsized on our social lives, at least in its traditional guise. However, online meet-ups have never been more creative or indeed more insightful than in 2020 on a global scale.

The fact that physical distancing is still in full swing doesn’t mean you should forget your friends and family. Why not set up a routine for online gatherings?

For example, Saturday trivia parties or various themed get-togethers?

8. Don’t Get Lazy!

Relaxing your daily routine is what holidays are all about, but that doesn’t mean that you should just forget about your responsibilities.

Some people exercise daily, and they don’t feel good when they skip. While it is generally recommended to follow this regimen, we don’t really agree. Workouts are great and all, but some people scale up their exercise routine differently. There’s nothing wrong with exercising three or four times a week if you’re not a sports nerd, and this routine is by no means unsustainable during the holidays.

In short, don’t forget to exercise but do it on your own terms. Make a slot for your workout and don’t skip it, but don’t overdo it, either.


Holidays are just around the corner, and there’s not a single reason why you shouldn’t enjoy them to the fullest. Your routine doesn’t have to suffer, either. It’s all about planning and exercising self-discipline when it comes to common procrastination sources: TV, email and social media. Simply make a slot for everything, and you’re good to go.



Author's Bio: 

Angela Ash is a professional writer and editor, focusing on topics related to mental health, productivity, remote work, employee engagement and more.