Ah, it’s Christmas time. Mistletoe and wine. Time to kick back, relax, pour yourself a Baileys and watch trashy films in your festive pyjamas…

Except it’s not yet. It’s only the first week of December at present, which means depending on your job type you’ll have at the very least a couple of weeks left at work before it’s holiday time. The end of the year is fast approaching, which means many of us are under pressure to do more than ever before in order to earn our all-important Christmas bonuses.

And yet, it’s perfectly normal to be struggling with motivation in the lead up to Christmas, even though it’s the time we need it the most. We’re kidding about the banner, but If this sounds all too familiar, here are some tips to help you to stay productive and get you through the next couple of working weeks.

Stay on Top of Things

At this time of year it can be all too tempting to throw caution to the wind and let things slide a little. We’re all in the mind set of “I’ll be better in the new year”, but in reality, we’re making excuses and if you adopt this mindset now, come the new year your to do list will be unbearable.

It doesn’t matter whether the task at hand is completing a hugely important presentation, or simply buying cheap banners for the office party. Whatever it is, stay on top of it and get it done now. There’s no time like the PRESENT (festive joke), so make the most of it, and in the words of NikeJust Do It. You’ll be glad you did so in the long run, believe us.

Create a To Do List

People have been making to do lists – and checking them twice – since the dawn of time. But why? If you’re not familiar with making these in your own personal or professional life, you’ve probably wondered what it is about them that make them so popular. They’ve definitely got the power of longevity, so today we’re going to give you some (sort of) science behind why they work so well, and have done for some time.

To do lists very simply split tasks up, which make even the longest and most daunting of lists seem simpler, and less intimidating. If you’ve got a lot to do, whether it’s one monumental job or several smaller ones, simply just getting on with it can seem nigh on impossible. By creating a smaller list of doable tasks, you make the overall larger task or list of tasks more accessible, and therefore easier to tackle. It works for a lot of people, so even if you’re sceptical – give it a go! You might be pleasantly surprised by the results.

Exercise the Power of NO

The festive period puts pressure on all of us to do things we probably normally wouldn’t do. It doesn’t matter whether that be spending more money, having one more drink, taking on more work or going to social events you’d usually avoid like the plague. Christmas turns us all into yes people, no matter who we are, so take this opportunity to exercise the power of saying no.

If you say yes to every little thing, you’re going to be exhausted – and being exhausted doesn’t help with productivity and motivation in the slightest. It’s the time of year when all of your old friends start crawling out of the woodwork and asking to meet for coffee or festive drinks. If you’re tired, have a lot to do, and quite frankly can’t be bothered, then don’t be afraid to say no – you can meet in the new year when it’s quieter. So many of us over exert ourselves at Christmas time, which is half the reason our productivity suffers. Remember to put yourself first sometimes, and do what’s right for you.

Keep a Routine

Finally, it never hurts to keep your usual routine on the go right up until you have time off. In fact, it makes day to day life far easier.

Apart from the few little changes like having a choc from your advent calendar on a morning, or doing a little bit of Christmas shopping on an evening – keep things normal. Sure, enjoy the season, and do all of the things you WANT to do – but if you usually go to the gym, twice a week say, keep that up! It’ll help you stay into the swing of things, and will make the time you get to put your feet up all the more rewarding.