3 Tips to Avoid Slacking Off this Holiday Season

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Break out the eggnog at the holiday office party!

‘Tis the season to be jolly, but in reality, we know what really goes on this time of year at work. I’ll get you that productivity report after I fire up Amazon and take care of my holiday list with some retail therapy.

The holidays for many 9-to-5ers are just one giant slack-off where everyone checks out at work.

Is This You?

I’m working remote … who’s gonna notice if I watch “A Christmas Story” on loop on my work-issued laptop?

I’m in the office, but the boss is on vacay … who’s gonna really notice my only productivity is in boosting Amazon’s bottom line?

I’m looking for work … my “job” will be dealing with the in-laws. so I need “time off” before they arrive to shop for Jolly St. Nick NFTs with the unemployment money.

If Any of This Hits Home, Here’s What You Do

The holidays may be festive but office workers struggle to stay productive. Here are three tips on how to finish strong in 2021.

#1: Up Your Online Calendar Game

The Scenario: You make routine visits to the office break room to maintain the illusion that you are actually doing something other than online shopping between Thanksgiving and the New Year.
Since you are not a sociopath, you mentally compensate by lifting one of the holiday calendars in the break room. Even though the calendar is meant for a client, you decide that you will chart and table all your work goals for 2022.

As soon as the calendar hits your cluttered desk, you see it collect dust in time lapse over the next 12 months. You may be many things, but you are a professional desk jockey. Online calendars are the only game in town!

The Remedy: If you’re looking for a way to integrate your online calendar on Slack, Microsoft Teams or other communication tools, we recommend Zapier. You can also connect Google Calendar and Facebook Events so that everything is in one place. Beyond calendars and the holidays, Zapier is a productivity godsend, allowing you to automate mundane tasks. You can’t use it, however, to explain to your superior why you were caught on camera pilfering client gifts in the break room.

#2: Project Plan NOT to Get Stuck Cooking the Holiday Feast with Apps

The Scenario: In a moment of insanity, you agreed to take on a big work project that is due at year end. Project planning turns ugly during the Yuletide. People don’t answer calls or emails. Vendors are non-responsive with the surge of holiday shoppers and demand. Your partner keeps dropping hints how you might want to take on cooking the holiday meal for the entire family, and you are running out of excuses to avoid this abysmal fate.

The Remedy: You can facilitate goal-setting and deadline management through the use of effective project planning techniques inside the software application Asana. Stay on track by setting up notifications if it helps keep yourself accountable as well as monitor progress throughout all projects by adding milestones, tasks, subtasks, due dates, checklists, labels or tags.

With a handy tool like Asana, your team will appreciate being able to see and edit the entire project on a single page and even break down complex projects into smaller pieces with tasks that can be assigned to specific team members. This tool, however, does not allow you to outsource the huge holiday cooking burden to a subordinate.

#3: Use Tech to Shatter Work Goals

The Scenario: You are either geriatric or a traditionalist and still rely on a notebook. Every morning, you jot down your daily To Do list. At work meetings, you wield a leather-bound notebook and fancy pen to hide the fact that you are still writing stuff down and not using a stylus and tablet or the Notes app on your smartphone.

The trouble with notebooks is you can’t find your old stuff. In between doodles and quotes from meetings that could be turned into Reddit gold, you forgot where you put the goals that your boss asked you track way back in January. She wanted them on a spreadsheet and that was never happening because you’re a notebook person. What to do at your year-end review when said goals will need to be discussed as well as your “problematic” behavior at the office party where the HR Director got Secret Santa’d with your riotous gag gift?

The Remedy: Use habit-tracking apps like HabitBull to set daily goals and how successively you complete them. These apps send notifications to spur you on and are rewards-based. After you’ve set up HabitBull, every time it’s time for your daily habit to begin, a pop-up will appear on your screen. This is something that makes HabitBull stand out from other similar apps. Instead of having to open an app and looking at a list of goals or checking off completed tasks, the reminder pops up right then and there so you have no excuse but to do it!

As a good capitalist, when you come into money, you flaunt it. It’s therefore totally natural to publicize your goal-reaching leaps. Make sure everyone knows what kind of progress you’re making by posting screenshots of your goals on social media. Show them receipts! No one will question your productivity when you really monitor your social feeds for most of the day instead of actually working on the special project the HR Director assigned you after opening your “fun” gift at the holiday party.

Maintain the Illusion of Staying Busy

Once you return to the office after Thanksgiving, and you start getting the Out Of Office replies to your emails, it’s easy to go on autopilot and coast until Management starts paying attention again in January.

Being a Main Character in a Slacker sequel where everyone works a cube in Austin doesn’t have to be your holiday default. With these suggestions, you can turbocharge your productivity with technology. With apps like HabitBull and tools like Zapier and Asana, you can maintain the illusion of being busy while placing some strategic piles of folders overflowing with paper around your desk. You are now free to focus on the important stuff – online shopping and watching Ralphie’s exploits to acquire a Red Ryder air rifle!

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