Four ways to be more productive with less stress and less guilt this half term

It’s the last day before the school half-term holidays here in the UK. Are you winding things down next week, or will it be business as usual?

Personally I do a bit of both. I like to slow down and lighten up a little on the work front so I can enjoy some lazy mornings, trips out and play dates with my kids, especially my 5 year old as I don’t get to do that so much now that he’s at school.

I don’t stop completely though. And this can be tricky and chaotic, when you’re trying to juggle the two, saying “hang on a minute, let me just finish this” then racking your brain to remember the thing you were about to do or write before you were interrupted, adding extra stress, guilt and that feeling that you’re spinning your wheels.

So below are a few tips to help reduce the guilt and stress and be more productive in the holidays.

1. Aim to do one thing

Rather than having fifty, fifteen or even five things on your to-do list, concentrate on one thing and make it count. Ask yourself, what’s the one thing that’s going to take me closer to my goals this week.

Then schedule times when you can focus on it, whether that’s 30 minutes or an hour a day – this could be when the kids are having some down time, at a friend’s house, when they’re in bed at night or just before they get up in the morning – you choose what works best for you, and the beauty of picking a time is, then you know when it’s NOT the time, so you don’t have half an eye on the computer all the time, trying to squeeze in a bit of work here and there, and get frustrated when it doesn’t quite pull off.

2. Take the opportunity to recharge and take stock

When you take time out of your normal rhythm of ‘doing’ you get a chance to reflect on where you are and where you want to head to, what’s worked well and not so well, and where you need more help or resources to move forward.

Taking that mental break from work, as well as spending time with your WHY, your children, refuels your motivation and energy, and gives you a fresh perspective for the next season.

3. Plan ahead for the end of the holidays

Have you ever found that it’s hard to get to sleep when you’re worrying about something you’ve got to do tomorrow? If you’ve got a big project or a pile of work looming over your head, it’s hard to stop your brain from worrying how you’re going to get it done and mentally working away at it.

Instead, write things down to get them out of your head, and plan the first hour of your working week – decide what you’re going to tackle first when you get back to work, so that you can rest easy knowing exactly how and when you’re going to get back into the swing of things.

4. Get your hands on the Productivity Profits Guide

Yes, it’s a blatant plug :) and if you want the guilt-free satisfaction and peace of mind of getting things done in the time that you have, rather than always trying to “find more time” then get your copy of the Productivity Profits Guide today.

  • Simon Cole

    Sound advice Grace. One thing that works for me is to go to a new location when working on a difficult assignment. For instance, I am at a library in Birmingham today. This keeps me away from distractions at home that would inevitably cause me to procrastinate. If at home, sometimes, I take work into another room and that helps!

  • Naomi

    I have done so little work this half term – its great. I dont mean I hate my work as I love what I do. I want to spend it with my children and give them all of me. I can go back to work next week and focus 100%. The holidays and work do not work for me.

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