Along with Christmas Parties, Secret Santa’s and Mince Pies, this time of year for many employees comes with increased stress, trying to balance their workload with Christmas shopping and social events.
There are just so many things to do, and so little time to do them in. Working people may feel stressed out, trying to cram Christmas workload into their already limited time.
If you are one of them people feeling more flustered than festive, taking the time to use a few helpful strategies can really help reduce Christmas workload.
Make a list
It works for Santa, it will work for you. Divide a page into two columns, just as Santa would for all the naughty and nice, list all the things you have to do to prepare for the holiday season, on the other side list all the things that will need to be done when you return. Focus on what’s important and make sure high priority work gets done first. Make sure to cross out tasks as they are completed, this will give you a sense of achievement watching your list getting smaller.
Get the most from your ‘Out of Office’ Email
It’s all well and good setting an automatic out of office email, but think about it are you really providing any help for your customers?
Things like Christmas opening hours, emergency contacts and when you will be returning are all useful to customers. This simple action would dramatically reduce the number of emails you would be greeted with when you return.
Emailing businesses informing them of Shut Down periods
How else will your customers know you are closed? Sage 200 is incredibly flexible and resourceful. We actually have the means to export all customer emails from the customer information within Sage.
This means, that you have the ability to email each and every customer from the business and make them aware of the business opening hours over Christmas. Sending of these emails should be added to your list (see point above) and completed before you leave for the Christmas period.
To export email addresses from Sage:
Workspaces-Sales Ledger-Customer Account Enquiry-Email tab along with tab edit with ‘@’
You will then notice the list of customers that are summarised by those with an email.
Then: Tick the check box Code-Right click on the top address-Select Export-All to Office 365
This will then export all the emails to Office 365, where you can produce an email and send it out to all your customers.
Learn to say No
There’s a fine line between being a team player and someone who is taking on work that should be done by others, or, perhaps, not even at all. Don’t be afraid to say no to tasks that are unnecessary or unimportant. Sticking to your priorities will help keep your workload manageable.
If you are feeling stressed or depressed about your workloads then voice your concerns to a supervisor/manager. Don’t let the pressure affect your work performance.
Break up your day
The average person’s attention span lasts somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes. Which means staring at the screen for hours isn’t going to do anything for your productivity levels. A 2-minute walk to the kettle, or just a quick check of your emails can help refocus your mind. Take a few minutes to relax, and then get stuck back in.
Make the most of your breaks throughout the day and ensure you prioritise your workload to make the most of your time. Eat your lunch away from your desk, otherwise you don’t get a real break from work! Eating lunch with colleagues will encourage you to be more social and subsequently makes you happier. The happier you are, the more productive you will be.
Keep Organised and Focused
It may seem like a simple one, but many of us simply don’t manage out workloads well. This can lead to stress and the feeling of ‘where to start’. Planning the next day before you go home is a great way of making sure your mind is focused on the day in hand. Another stress factor can be your email inbox. There is nothing worse than seeing hundreds of emails in your inbox, so why not clear it down? Here at itas, we have ‘Dealt With’ folders that we move old emails into. This allows us to create almost a ‘to do’ list of emails in our inbox.
But remember, it is Christmas so try to relax and have fun, laugh and be merry. I hope this will help you have a lovely, stress less and interruption free Christmas and reduce workload for when you return, who doesn’t want that?!
You will appreciate it; your colleagues will appreciate it and most importantly your customers and suppliers will appreciate it.
Wishing you a great, stress-free, Christmas break!