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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, right? End-of-year vacation wars. Co-worker call-offs. Longer lunches.

Working through the holidays can seem like a month’s worth of work stuffed into a half-month calendar! Here are 3 tips to help make those holiday hours happy ones.

1. Squeeze Yourself

A quick time audit often shows we’re not that great at squeezing the most out of our workday (yes, you too). Seems like a no-brainer, but there are a wealth of tools out there to help us get more out of an hour – from time blocking (Google it) to logging time on a daily pocket planner (also helps with timesheets!) to apps like Focus Booster that make maximizing more like fun.

2. Eat a Frog

Got a to-do list? Highlight your least favorite tasks – your frogs – in green. You know…the things you’re most likely to avoid. Then commit to “eating 1 frog” every morning, so you can enjoy the rest of a day doing the stuff you don’t mind.

3. Defer the Delays

Non-stop interruptions are clock killers. Those extra meetings or requests for help because you’re nice (or simply available)? A polite “let me check my schedule” helps assemble thoughts and keep focus. Remember, if everything’s a priority, nothing is.

A little planning – especially during the December time crunch – can make your holidays a lot merrier!

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