The last few months of the year are always brutal in the office. It’s easy to become distracted with gift shopping, holiday parties, and visiting family and friends. Plus, during the holidays, it seems like work always slows down. People are out of the office on holiday vacation, and deadlines don’t turn around as quickly. Keeping your motivation in the office during the holidays can be hard, but with a few mental tips and tricks, you can push through the last few months of this year and prepare yourself for a great next year.

Invest in Yourself

Take advantage of the slower time at work to invest some extra attention in yourself and your career. Take a course or class, perhaps in something you’ve always been interested in but haven’t yet pursued. This could be in a field associated with your career, or simply a class on something that can expand your capabilities in a more general way. Try taking a class that helps make you a more well-rounded person, like a CPR class or a basic first aid and safety course. Not only will additional education help make you a more well-rounded person, but it also can help propel your career forward in the future.

Make a To-Do List

It is so easy to get consumed with holiday festivities during this time of year that even basic day-to-day tasks can fall by the wayside. While a to-do list at work can help when you are super busy, it also can help when things start to slow down. Writing down exactly what needs to be accomplished each day is a great way to stay on track. Knowing what must be done before you leave the office for the night can help keep your motivation up and help you avoid distractions. 

Clean Up Your Tech

When it’s slower at work during the holidays, it’s an excellent time to work on cleaning up your technology. Take a look at your computer; finally, go through and update all those programs (because we know you always click “Remind me later” in response to those alerts!). 

Organize your desktop contents and put your documents and files in order. Cloud storage is an excellent way to get yourself organized. The cloud allows you to digitally store and organize files, which can then be accessed from anywhere in the world that provides an internet connection. Plus, if you are collaborating with co-workers, you can grant access to certain files so you’ll be able to collaborate together.

Check Your Finances

Our budgets all take a bit of a hit this time of year while shopping for holiday gifts and party provisions. Now is the perfect time to examine your finances and make sure you’re on track to hit the new year strong. Create a budget for the new year, leaving yourself enough for the essentials as well as a bit of saving. Another smart holiday money move is to check your credit score and learn easy ways to improve your credit

Gaining control of your personal finances can help boost your confidence and motivation, which can translate into greater freedom in your work mindset. Or, conversely, if you find your finances aren’t where you’d like them to be, you can plan to make a change — even start looking for a new job in the new year.

Break Up Your Routine

Doing the same tasks day in and day out can get boring — but imagine how it feels after 11 months of the same thing all year! To keep your motivation from nose-diving during the holidays, try to break up your routine. It can be as simple as taking a different route to work, using public transportation instead of driving that commute, or simply packing a different lunch. Try a new restaurant or grab a coffee somewhere besides your regular spot. Meet with new friends at work. Change up the order you tackle your daily tasks. Whatever it is, freshening up your day’s routine can help spark some workplace motivation.

Make a Change

There’s no time like the present to make a big change! But assess your situation clearly first: If you find you’re unhappy after almost a year at your current workplace, it might be time for a change in scenery. Consider moving to a different company or completely changing your field. Maybe moving to a new city is all you need to ignite that spark. Making a big change can be scary, but sometimes it’s exactly what is needed to propel you forward. Remember also that sometimes you need to take a step backward in order to take two big steps forward.

Pat Yourself on the Back

As humans, we tend to focus on the negatives in life — in this case, those can be the things we didn’t get around to accomplishing in the past year. Instead, give some thought to everything you did achieve. Chances are, the list of what you accomplished will be much longer than what you didn’t. Focus on how far you’ve come since the beginning of the year in both your career and your personal life. Knowing exactly what you accomplished this past year can help enhance your motivation and drive as you progress into the new year.

Collaborate with Your Co-workers

Some of the very best ideas come from working with other people. Before the new year rolls around, take advantage of the slowdown at work to collaborate with co-workers and share ideas. Talk about ways to improve your department or company as a whole. Improve processes or procedures. Roll out innovative new programs or inspiring messages. Working together is a great way to set up yourself and your company for success in the new year. If you’re excited about new things to come, it’s easy to stay motivated.

With everything going on during the holiday season, it can be hard to maintain motivation. Not only is the workplace slowing down, but also there are distractions around every corner. However, it’s possible to maintain your motivation through the end of the year by using these tips. Some might even ignite a spark that will propel you and your career to uncharted new heights in the new year.    

Author: Molly Barnes, Digital Nomad Life