While on the one hand, December can be an extremely productive month when you consider all aspects of your life, it can be a complete drag at work because you're doing so much shopping, cooking, and party organizing outside of work. This can make you tired and tempted to slack off at work. Unfortunately, though, that's not great for business. What can you do to maximize your productivity, even when jingle bells are ringing?

Laura Stack, the "Productivity Pro" has 5 suggestions for keeping productivity high when time and energy is low.

Identify your peak energy periods. Try tackling tougher tasks when your energy is highest. A recent survey by Fellowes Brands found morning is the most common time of day when people felt most productive. Aim to complete challenging tasks during these peak energy periods when your brain functions better.

Plan ahead. If you have back-to-back meetings, bring all needed materials with you to avoid running back to your desk in between. Instead, use extra time to review notes from the previous meeting or prepare for your next one. This saves precious time, so you can spend time after work checking off that holiday to-do list.

Turn off social media. It can be especially difficult to ignore the holiday pictures and status updates this time of year. Limit your time spent on social media to your lunch hour or after work. The less time you spend 'checking in,' the more time you can spend 'checking out' of work.

Make sure meetings stay on-task. Fifty-three percent of office workers say chatty coworkers disrupt their days. This can be especially true as colleagues begin to discuss holiday plans. Have an agenda for any meeting and establish ground rules in advance to handle conversations that get off track.

Lean on the latest generation of smart technologies. Avoid disruption by using technologies that do the thinking for you.

What tips do you have for staying on track during the holiday?

 

Published on: Dec 16, 2014
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.