Working during the holidays is always a challenge no matter where you’re employed. It’s especially hard when you’re self-employed. There are several tricks that businesses use to keep employees engaged during the holidays, so let’s translate those into things for us self-employed folks.
This is particularly hard for the freelancer if you have a lot of projects going on at once. It always comes down to doing your best to make your time valuable. I wrote about wasting time here.
Daytimers and calendars are always a great way to keep your To Do and Task List handy. When you have a list of tasks at hand, you find that your jobs get done; you have more time, and you have a lot less stress.
If you prioritize your projects by deadline, you can get them finished on time, so you can move on to the next one.
Get Plenty of Rest
Exhaustion will play a big part in getting ready for the holidays (or even vacations), and when you get enough rest, you can concentrate on the tasks you need to finish. We’re supposed to get seven or more hours of sleep a night. If I get less than eight, I get very foggy and cannot concentrate, which makes me unproductive.
Your mother told you to eat your veggies, and whether you like it or not, veggies help play an important part in our productivity. Here are some veggies and other goodies that can help you with dealing with stress that can impede your productivity:
- Avocadoes increase energy.
- Bananas boost your energy levels.
- Carrots help improve memory and reduce stress.
- Spinach reduces stress and helps your immune system.
- Eggs are high in protein.
- Dark chocolate is not a vegie, but it does wonders to lower stress and anxiety.
- Nuts increase your metabolism and sunflower seeds help eliminate grumpiness because they are packed with amino acids that create serotonin.
Caffeine is a good way to boost your energy, but it also increases anxiety, so use it moderately. Drink green tea to improve your focus. Water is an absolute during stressful times.
While meditation may not be a part of your routine, it will help you if take a few moments every day to do deep breathing. It will clear the thoughts from your head and fill up your lungs with much-needed oxygen. This is something you can even do at your desk between projects, paragraphs or even words. You didn’t see me take those five cleansing breaths between the words projects and paragraphs, did you?Tai Chi is a great stress reducer! I have a friend who has written a great book on the benefits of Tai Chi. I can hug a tree! 🙂 It’s available on Amazon, but it’s also a Kindle Unlimited read, so if you have Kindle Unlimited, you might be able to read it for free!
We all know the benefits of exercising whether we do it or not. I have a treadmill right behind me but don’t get on it every day as I had planned. I mean, how hard is it to roll my chair over to my treadmill and walk on a moving walkway? Apparently, it is more difficult than brain surgery, so count me out.
Really, you should at least walk around the house, water the plants, pet the dog (another great stress-reducing activity) and go outside for a moment.
Exercise increases endorphins, which trigger happy feelings and positive outlooks. A positive outlook is always a plus when it comes to productivity.
Besides dark chocolate, you should treat yourself from time to time. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. It can be a half-hour reading or a night watching a movie. Just something that lets your brain unwind and get ready to be productive.
If you really want to go all out in your planning, then take the time to forecast your next year’s goals. Maybe you want to take a class or go on vacation, by writing them down, it can be a motivator towards greater productivity.
No matter how you handle stress, maybe these ideas will help you reduce some of your stress and make you more productive during the holidays and anytime you need a boost.