7 time management tips for the holiday season

Written on 09 November, 2015 by Verity Meagher
Categories: Small Business

As jingle bells ring and the silly season gets into swing, breakfast events, parties and end-of-year wrap-ups start to take over our day-to-day working lives, making it difficult to manage time, complete daily tasks, and plan for next year.

If you want to get the most out of the holiday season, it’s all about time management. Here are seven tips that will help you survive the holiday season and ensure productivity levels remain high.

1. Utilise your calendar

Have a calendar that is accessible and synced, no matter where you are. When you’re busy at different events and have multiple professional and personal calendars, it’s easy to lose track and double-book yourself. Save yourself time and energy by syncing all your calendars and diaries into a Calendar app on your phone, such as Google Calendar or iCal.

2. Start planning early

The earlier you start planning, the easier it is to get on top of your workload and avoid extra stress during the holiday season. Start organising your schedule now, highlighting key goals and tasks you need to complete during the next three-month period. Make sure to allocate more time than you actually need as unexpected issues or extra events will always come up and leave you with less time than you thought.

3. Recruit help

Hire additional staff to help manage the workload during this busy time. With so many meetings and events, sometimes you’ll feel like you only spend one hour in the office each day and it can be difficult to get things done. If the tasks you need completed are time-consuming and require little strategic direction, now is the perfect time to hire some freelance or casual staff to help cope with the extra workload. University students are generally on holidays from November onwards, and are always enthusiastic to get professional experience.

4. Maximise meetings

Kill two birds with one stone and plan as many group meetings as possible, rather than individual catch-ups. Whenever possible in meetings, tick off multiple items on one agenda to prevent regrouping at a later date.

5. Manage travel time

Don’t forget to factor in travel time. You have a meeting at 4pm and drinks at 5pm – you get out of your meeting only to realise it actually takes 20 minutes to get to the function, and traffic is much worse than you expected. When it comes to managing your time during the silly season, it’s essential to allow yourself more time than necessary to get from one place to the next – and don’t forget that everyone else is also travelling around, so make sure to consider the impact of traffic congestion on your journeys.

6. Set deadlines and prioritise

During this time of year, certain tasks may get left behind, and things you intended to complete will slowly creep into next year. Now more than ever, it’s critical to set realistic deadlines at work and prioritise – both professionally and personally. Add deadlines to your schedule and block out time to complete important tasks to ensure you don’t fall behind.

7. Look after your health

Whether it’s getting enough sleep or hydrating after the work Christmas party, there’s nothing worse for your productivity and time management than not being in full health. While it is the season of giving, make sure to take a bit of time and look after yourself.

What’s your best time-management tip for the holiday season?