The challenge of how to be productive at home is a big one. Throw in the holidays — travel, celebrations, time away — and it feels downright overwhelming.
Now the fact is … We love the holidays. It’s an excuse to step away from your normal routine and spend more time celebrating with your family.
And being an entrepreneur means you get to choose how much time you take off. How you spend your days. And yes, exactly what that looks like for you.
Ha! Easier said than done. 😅
Managed poorly, taking time off can leave you scrambling before and after your break. And sometimes even during.
How to be productive at home and keep business booming during holidays and vacations
This holiday season … skip the furious rush to get your projects done and instead sit back with a cup of spiced hot chocolate and savor your holidays with these holiday productivity hacks.
Just imagine no to-do list burning the back of your brain — and no pre-holiday flurry trying to get things in order.
Over the years, we’ve built a booked-out business complete with client projects, our own program launches, networking events, and keeping up with our own marketing.
While all that is usually pretty easy to manage, during the holidays it gets a bit trickier. But over time we’ve perfected our systems to give us the extra time we need during the holidays, all without losing momentum.
So how can YOU make it happen, too?
Let’s spill the tea on how to be productive at home during the holidays — without losing our heads.
Piping-hot Productivity Strategies for the Holidays
1. Get friendly with a project management tool.
Don’t wait until the holidays to use a project management tool. Start NOW!
Mayank and I use Notion, and it’s transformed our business for the better. We like having systems in place, and Notion is what makes those systems work properly. Plus, it’s a year-round productivity strategy that keeps everything in one place. 💃
A project management tool helps you:
- plan projects
- map out deliverables
- organize the entire process
Whether you use Notion or something else… you need a system to set yourself up for time INSIDE the office and OUT.
2. Intentionally limit your capacity
If you haven’t noticed, we’re fans of being ‘intentional.’ It implies careful forethought and focused planning, rather than random stabs in the dark.
Be intentional with work so free time is just as intentional. We love to play, and chances are you do too — the key is setting yourself up for it.
Really look at how much work you want to be doing, how much work you need to do to keep your business running smoothly, and what you want your holidays to look like work-wise.
That way you can purposefully limit yourself to only the work you truly want to do for your holiday season.
For this productivity strategy to work, you have to actually stick to your plan.
Don’t get sucked into working more than your limited capacity. Make sure you have systems in place to deal with anyone trying to squeeze in last-minute end-of-year projects with zero stress.
3. Steal pockets of time for micro-action
Other times of the year, you pour your focus and energy into your business. Introduce new offers, launch new packages, or even do a rebrand… but now may not be the time.
⭐ Instead of focusing on the macro, focus on the micro. ⭐
Ditch the networking event and use 15 minutes to post on social media and engage. Instead of having an hour-long call simply send an email to your list.
During the holidays you may find it easier to snatch those little pockets of time to keep up the momentum, rather than try to carve out full days or even hours.
Plan out smaller (but still important) projects so you don’t have to come back from the holidays and panic grind to get clients.
4. Prep for deep focus time
Not everything can be done in 15-minute bursts, and there’s no way you have full work days available without interruption this time of year. Plan accordingly and arrange to have a couple of deep focus sessions away from the holiday chaos — and the kids.
Back when Manini was a toddler, Mayank and I would take turns doing the parenting bit so the other could focus on being productive inside the biz.
But that’s not always an option. If it isn’t, try to work out for Aunt Milly to come watch the kids, or maybe arrange for a babysitter once or twice a week.
You don’t need to set aside forever. But working 2-3 hours deep in focus will be better than working multiple days while completely distracted.
5. Lose the fluff
Stop doing anything that doesn’t have to happen. Sounds easier said than done but believe us … if you get fierce about protecting your time, you’ll find it’s actually totally doable and not even that hard!
Any unnecessary calls (including networking calls) shouldn’t be a priority during this time.
Remember — navigating the holidays as an entrepreneur is leaning on the reason you started a business.
Chances are … You didn’t ditch your 9-5 for a 24/7 gig. You do this so you can prioritize life outside of work when you want to, and the holidays are one of the best times to do it.
Sooo… get rid of those calls.
If you have to be in touch with clients, consider using a form of communication that doesn’t leave you scrambling to find a quiet place while the kids are in the queue for Space Mountain at Disneyland (or changing out of your holiday pj’s to look presentable).
We use a combination of Slack, WhatsApp and Voxer, which allows us to check in with our team and our clients without scheduling calls and cluttering up our schedule.
Oh, and just because you opt for a different method of communication doesn’t mean you have to check it every second of the day.
Put limitations in place, and stick to them. Set expectations with yourself and your clients to keep things running smoothly. Then spoil yourself with a clutter-free and fresh-baked schedule that’s as satisfying as that hot apple pie coming out of the oven!
These should help you be productive at home, without leaving you glued to your desk.
Spoiler alert: You can still be productive at home without sitting in the office all day. 🙌🏽
The holiday season tends to be a time of stress for many service providers and freelancers. But if you set yourself up the right way you can enjoy the holiday season along with everyone else.
We use every single one of these productivity hacks for holidays and vacations.
We love taking time to travel, but we had to go through lots of growth before we found a way to make the holidays less about getting things done and more about enjoying our family.
Now, we’re all about helping others do the same.
Have any questions about how we make it happen? Want more tips on being productive from home? Let us know in the comments! 👇🏽 We’d love to share more of our secret recipes for business success with you.