It’s that time of the year y’all! That’s the most expected holiday worldwide, in which you will find yourself walking around, surrounded by people smiling for no reason, buying gifts, meeting friends at coffee shops, and spending extra time with family and loved ones. Ahh, the warmth of this season is incomparable! Who does not love it, apart from the Grinch? (If you didn’t get the reference, this is a must-watch movie, just saying!) Anyway, the point is, although many use this time to lay back and relax, it’s also considered an opportunity to be a step ahead in reaching your goals when no one’s watching. However, if you find it difficult to take advantage of this occasion, here is how to stay productive during holidays and kick-start the new year strong!
Keeping in mind we all have different objectives and view life in a distinct manner, which is what makes us unique and special, below you’ll find different options to choose from when thinking of how to spend holidays usefully.
Being productive during holidays doesn't have to be something boring or tiring. Remember – it’s quality over quantity! After all, you’re and will most likely always be the biggest project of your life. So now, let’s dig in how these tips on how to stay productive during holidays can come in handy when reaching your target.
There is a misconception that reserving time for important things entails using countless amounts of hours, taking away time for the so-long wanted fun activities. Well, proven point, I literally just got tired and lazy only by reading that sentence. It’s all psychological, it’s all in the way we make out things to be. If you train your brain to think and use positive words and statements, you will start seeing things differently.
For instance, instead of saying: “I will be busy for X amount of time to get A, B, and C done” or “I have to work/study 1 hour everyday”.
Try saying or thinking: “I will invest X time in doing A, B, and C”, “I will reserve part of my time to work on A, B, and C” or “I want to use some of my time to …”
Although it might seem like a small and insignificant thing, it will make the difference – trust me.
Continuing on this train of thought, when planning how to organize your time, you might want to have a priority list. Whilst staying on track during the holidays is good, you will also want to get some rest and recharge for what’s coming up next, the new year with its challenges and aprendships. Therefore, choose only a few targets to hit and understand how much time you will be able to reserve for them; be realistic.
As we all know that common sense, after all, is not that common, I will remind you to sleep people!
If you are wondering “How can I be somewhat productive during holidays?”, you will definitely want to read this advice. Okay, nap lovers, we aren’t talking about spending the entire holidays under the blankets or doing the typical bear hibernation. The point here is to respect your body and let it rest when needed.
As you may already know by now and according to HelpGuide.org, “most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep per night to function at their best.” (This can include naps). Nevertheless, most people tend to sleep 6 hours or less, which can affect humor and productivity.
As we’re speaking of a very special time of the year, it is expected that you will be attending more parties/gatherings, and will most likely go to sleep later than usual. This being said, make sure to clock in early some nights as well, so that you don’t accumulate lack of sleep. You will need all the energy you can get in order to have fun and row towards your goals.
Eat your holiday meals, you deserve it! But make sure to eat balanced ones too. No, I’m not kidding. Food can increase productivity and taste good all at the same time! If you don’t know which ones to consume, here are some examples of foods to choose from:
Avocados: These guys are a source of energy, help your brain memory and lower risk of depression.
Berries: These fruits help with active learning, critical thinking, memory storing, and improve reaction time.
Bananas: Here is another energy booster. Bananas also help with creativity, focus, and thought process.
Carrots: Cooked, roasted, smashed, juiced, or raw, carrots can improve memory, immune system, mental & physical health and reduce stress.
Dark Chocolate: This one has many benefits and it’s considered a powerful food to lower stress and anxiety.
Eggs: High in omega-3s and vitamins, eggs are great for the eyes and its high level of protein will easily satisfy you.
Nuts: Nuts are able to increase metabolism, protect your brain cells, and satiate hunger when working on your tasks.
Spinach: These green leaves are able to reduce stress & anxiety, it can improve vision, focus, and the immune system.
Salmon: If you’re a vegetarian this one is not for you, but there are other foods rich in omega-3 apart from Salmon. Salmon is notable to enhance judgment and improve disposition, it is highly associated with motivation.
Sunflower seeds: Also known as mood elevators, sunflower seeds can help fight grumpiness and can make you feel happy, calm, and concentrated as the amino acids are transformed into serotonin.
Did you notice that the chance of gaining weight eating these is extremely low? Great, so no excuses not to eat them, unless you are allergic.
Okay, apart from food, there are also some drinks that can assist in the process of being productive during holidays.
Coffee: The most popular among all drinks to increase productivity. Although caffeine helps with energy elevation, if drunk too much, can lead to anxiety and panic attacks. Therefore, no more than two small cups a day.
Green tea: If you aren’t a coffee lover, this one might just be your cup of tea. Other than improving focus and activating your brain cells, it can also help with fat loss and lower risks of heart disease.
Water: What a surprise, huh? Let’s all stay hydrated during the holidays. And if you’re starting to have headaches or feeling dizzy (not due to the amount of alcohol you might have consumed), make sure to drink some water.
Overall, you get the idea, right? No need to skip the delicious meals being prepared with so much love during the gatherings. But be sure to know your body’s limits and ingest nutrients that will keep you going healthy and firmly.
What does taking some time for self reflection mean? It means investing some time exploring yourself to understand what has happened in the year about to end and what plans or goals you wish to pursue for the following one. Perhaps you can mentally go over achievements, failures, things you’ve learned, goals you want to reach, or situations that surprised you.
Inner observation can be a bit scary, but it will serve you as something to be proud of when looking back at your past and as a solid guide for the future.
For instance, let’s say you’ve recently graduated, but still question yourself: “What career is right for me?” In this case, you may want to draw a map to help you visualize things in a clearer light, such as the image shows below.
Again, you don’t need to have a response by the next day, it’s just an opportunity to further browse possibilities and reflect on topics we don’t always find time to during the hectic year.
On another hand, perhaps you’re a recent graduate already with some work experience and are looking for jobs abroad with your native language. Take advantage of the holiday season to do some research on places you’d like to go, countries you’d like to visit and have an experience in. Use this time to explore sectors in most demand and what you can bring up to the current job market.
This might also be a chance to connect with people with similar interests on LinkedIn or Facebook. Grow your network and chat with recruiters to get some valuable tips. If you wish to continue to boost your employability, you can also watch Europe Language Jobs’ webinars & workshops for CV and cover letter advices.
Jumping out of the job hunting world, let’s say you wish to be productive in a different field, such as cooking, exercising, or even learning a new language. The tips are about the same, so now, let’s check how to develop a 2022 plan or mental map to give you some ground to work on.
In continuation of our last topic, developing a 2022 plan or creating a mental map will help you succeed when staying productive during the holidays. A new year plan can either be very detailed or very simple, and guess what? Either one works!
Maybe grab a piece of paper or open up a new page in your ‘notes’ and write down a list of things you’d like to happen in the new year. For instance:
My 2022 Goals:
I will sign up for German classes.
I will continue to go for runs during the weekend.
I will spend more time with my family.
And so on.
I hope you get the idea, but if you feel inspired, feel free to write down how and when you plan to achieve these goals, for example:
In February I will enroll in the A1 German program near my house. Classes are twice a week and last about 1hour and 30 minutes each.
I will go running in 2 different places during the weekend, parks and near the beach. I plan on running 10 km per weekend and will start timing myself.
And so on.
On the other hand, a mental map can be even broader. It can look like something more or less like this:
The arrows are pointing towards things you enjoy, things you wish to be part of your next year’s resolution, or things that you wish to obtain.
Sometimes committing to doing things entirely on our own during the holidays isn’t always the best way to go.
As we tend to relax and want some time off, even if we say we’ll do something, sometimes we excuse ourselves and procrastinate. Come on, we’ve all been there and done that. The issue is when it becomes a habit. In this case, it could be interesting to join activities with friends and people envisioning the importance of your productivity as much as theirs during the holidays.
For example, you know you’ve got a friend also looking for new job opportunities. Sit down with them at home or visit one of the top 5 cafes for coffee drinkers in Europe, order something tasty and start browsing vacancies in platforms, such as LinkedIn or Europe Language Jobs. You will start noticing that you’ll be more productive by not being alone and still doing something that will benefit you.
Now, let’s say you wish to become more physically active. Consider starting a routine, maybe go for jogs with your dog, call your mom, dad, siblings, or any other family member to join you. Are they not into it? That’s okay, ask a friend or join a gym and use a treadmill.
Holding yourself accountable, however, doesn’t necessarily imply involving someone else to accompany you in your plans. It only means you have a method to keep yourself on track. You know yourself and your weaknesses, so be transparent and help yourself to succeed.
Since we recently mentioned going for jogs and being physically active, let’s continue to speak of the same topic. Choosing to workout when possible is a great way to stay on track during the holidays, especially when it comes to increasing your productivity.
For those who don’t know, practicing sports has a positive effect on the human body. It doesn’t only boost your energy, but it can also make you happier, allow you to have more disposition, and have an easier time focusing. That’s right! Although you might not want to dedicate much of your holiday time to it, keep in mind that only a couple of hours a week is already better than nothing.
Here are some exercises you could engage in:
Snowboarding or skiing
Team sports, such as volleyball or soccer
And so on.
Enjoy the holidays and reward yourself for all of the hard work you did during the year. Make sure to really entertain yourself to the best of your abilities.
At times we have the urge to be productive, but we also must let ourselves sit back and enjoy the moment. That could be as simple as listening to music, reading a book, watching a movie, dancing, painting, hanging out with friends, or even just walking your dog.
It’s important to reserve some time to let your brain rest and disconnect your soul from earthy things. Find your own way to recharge during the holidays and find peace in the things you do.
Hopefully, after reading this article on how to stay productive during the holidays, you will be able to finish the year strong and prepare for the next one without fear! Remember, the holidays are meant to be enjoyed, but maybe you can also use this time to work on things you haven’t had the time to during the year. Take advantage of every opportunity!
Did you enjoy this blog? Let us know your comments in the section below and any other amazing tips you may have for us.