Whether your holiday break means a break from work or from school—or both—it’s easy to set aside obligations that still need to get done. The good thing is, you can use this break to both get some rest and get things done. Here’s how.
Set realistic goals
When determining the ways you want to be productive during your break, make sure the goals you set area realistic. If you’ll be traveling, hosting, and spending time with family and friends, then you shouldn’t expect to complete the same number of tasks you do in a normal week. Set realistic, achievable goals and write them down. Show them to a colleague, partner, or friend who will help you stay accountable.
Make a list
Now that you’ve set your realistic goals, make a list. Document each task that will need to be completed to call that goal achieved and estimate the time needed to complete.
Practice time blocking
Time blocking is a great tool for productivity. Now that you’ve mapped your task list and estimated the time you need to finish, create a schedule that blocks off time for each task. During these blocks of time, close the door, eliminate distractions (people, TV, phones, etc.), get in the zone with white noise or music, and work on nothing else.
Delegate what you can
If there’s something that needs to be done but can’t realistically be completed over the break, delegate it. If it’s work related, ask a colleague. If it’s personal, ask a partner or spouse, friend or family member to help you out—maybe that’s helping with meal prep, shopping, or taking care of the kids. Services like Postmates can also run errands for you.
Take small breaks
Take small breaks between time blocks. Five to ten minutes for every one to two hours of work to get up and move around, refill your coffee, change gears, clear your head, etc., is a good rule of thumb.
Take time to relax
It’s called a holiday break for a reason, so don’t forget to relax. If you fill your free time with tasks and work, then it’s likely that you’ll return from break more exhausted than when you started. Spend good time with family and friends and make sure you practice self-care.
Matilda lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she writes about great homes, health, and wellness. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, hiking, and walking her dogs.