Working Holidays

Working Holidays

Tips for Carving Out Time to Work (When Others in Your Household Aren't)

Working from home is often the most challenging around the holidays, when kids are home from school, spouses are on vacation from work, and family members are visiting.  If you still have work to do when everyone else is shopping and celebrating, you will most likely find it difficult to get everything done.

I find that I really struggle to find time to work when my husband takes vacation time, whether it's around the holidays or any other time of the year.  We usually like to do stuff together when he takes time off of work, so I often try to plan my workweek so that I can take time off around the same time, but that's not always possible.  From experience, here are a few tips to help you get your work done around the holidays -- or any other time when friends or family members are around.

  1. Block off work time.  Planning a dedicated block of time for you to work is your best bet if you want to get anything done.  You'll find it easier to do this if you plan it for times when you know there will be the least amount of distractions.  For instance, if you have young kids, plan your work time for when they'll be napping or at friends' houses, or after they're in bed.  If your spouse is home from work, plan your work time when he or she will be occupied with something else (shopping, yoga, visiting with friends, etc.).
  2. Stay organized and focused.  You'll work more productively during your blocked-off work times if you go into it with a list of what needs to get done, and stay on task for the entire time.  No procrastinating allowed!  When time runs out, you may be too busy with family or holiday stuff to get the work done later.
  3. Bribe them if you have to.  If you are having a hard time getting your friends and family to leave you alone so you can work, don't be ashamed to bargain with them!  "Give me X number of hours to work, and we'll go shopping/go to dinner/whatever you're wanting to do."  Make them understand that you have to have time to work if you are going to be able to do fun holiday things with them!

Last time I blogged, I wrote about distractions and how to combat them when you work at home.  Never are distractions more of a problem than around the holidays!  These tips will help you to make sure you have time to get your work done.