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Got your mind on the holidays coming up? For many, thoughts of turkey, stuffing and pumpkin pie seem to start up almost as quickly as the chill comes to the fall air. Unfortunately, the holiday season can also mean weight gain, stress and a lack of focus on the important tasks at work.
“Me? Distracted at work? No way,” you think to yourself. Here are some statistics that show just how derailing the holiday season can be to a company.
According to a survey by Deloitte, 47% of workers in the U.S. expect to shop online for holiday gifts during work hours, and 62% of companies experience a dip in workplace productivity during the holiday season. 70% of employees are disengaged during the holidays, according to a 2014 Gallup poll.
In 2012, 38% of full-time workers planned to take Christmas Eve off and 28% planned to take New Year’s Eve off. 14% took the entire week between Christmas and New Year’s Day off.
Here are 8 things you can do to stay focused and energized during the holiday season:
1. Drink Lots of Water
Dehydration causes tiredness and loss of focus. Water is essential for blood flow, and helps it deliver oxygen and nutrients to your brain, skin, and muscles. Keep a water bottle next to your desk and drink from it frequently.
Your body triggers that thirsty feeling when it has lost 2% of its water weight. Dehydration sets in when it has lost 5%.
2. Turn Off Technology
Put your cell phone away and consider downloading an app that blocks online distractions for certain periods of time.
53% of people say they waste at least an hour on digital distractions at work every day.
3. Utilize The Pomodoro Technique
Work intensely for 25 minutes, reward yourself with a short, five-minute break. Repeat the process four times, then take a 15 minute break.
Those who spend less than 20% of their time surfing the Internet are 9% more productive than those who resist perusing it at all.
Exercise is good for the body and mind. Moving your muscles gives you a boost of energy by increasing strength and endurance, and studies show that your brain is more focused 2-3 hours after a good workout.
Employees who exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, 3x per week are 15% more likely to have higher job performance.
5. Get Enough Sleep
When you don’t sleep, your brain doesn’t get its much needed rest, and instead focuses on how tired it is. Get your 8 hours a night and you’ll find it much easier to focus on the task at hand.
Harvard Medical School estimates that lack of sleep costs the U.S. economy $63 billion each year.
6. Don’t Overcommit
It’s easy to get caught up in all the holiday activities, but sometimes you just have to say no—both for your health and sanity. Overbooking yourself takes a toll on sleep and energy. Take time to relax and just enjoy the season.
67% of Americans say lack of time is their top stressor during the holidays.
7. Eat Breakfast
Unrefined carbs and lean proteins are your breakfast friends! Scrambled eggs in a whole-grain tortilla or oatmeal topped with nuts are both excellent choices that will keep you energized and focused until lunch!
Students who eat breakfast in the morning score an average of 17.5% higher on math tests than those who don’t eat breakfast.
8. Tackle the Tough Stuff First
Your productivity wanes the longer you work. Prioritize tasks so that you’re working on the most difficult projects first thing in the morning. You’ll get more done this way, and can end the day with less pressing, more routine tasks.
The most productive time of day is 9 a.m. with an average work intensity level of 52.4%.