Five tips for festive productivity this December – and beyond

For many of us, December is the official month of festive madness! There are presents to buy, a fairly large roast dinner to prepare for, and children to try and keep calm until the 25th.

So what happens when you’re half way through a contract, and need to also factor in your job?!

Keeping your professional productivity should also be at the top of your Christmas ‘to-do’ list, but how do you achieve that while getting everything else done?

Five tips for festive productivity this December

Jenny Winslow, Senior Marketing Executive at Intouch Accounting shares her top five tips on how to stay productive this festive season.

1) Plan ahead

This is a very obvious point to start off with, but planning ahead really does pay off. In business your success will only ever be a product of your plans, so it’s worth considering what needs to be done in the lead up to the big day.

Remember that your client also has their own countdown, so ensure you help them achieve their goals. Discuss your plans and schedule with them for the next few weeks. Are there any days you need to take off, or important dates they have?

Create your own strategy to ensure your key dates correlate with theirs, and agree on a plan to ensure both parties get what they want.

2) Surprise your support team with early gifts of thanks

If you’re a one-woman band you’ll probably be the only employee and director of your Ltd company. But should you have any employees or people who have supported you throughout the year, then December is the perfect time to let them know how important they are to you.

Being thanked for doing a good job doesn’t happen often these days. Consider the goals they’ve helped you achieve this year and what level of support you’ll need from them in 2017. Then simply let them know how much they mean to you!

Being made to feel appreciated is one of the greatest drivers for productivity, so make sure they know the impact their hard work has had on your success. And you never know, they may even help you get through December.

3) Make your clients love you!

Be the contractor or freelancer your clients love this December, and next January, February, March…

If you’re just starting out in a contract or are mid way through, now is the time to make a lasting impression.

As a client, there’s nothing more frustrating then when a contractor or freelancer misses an important deadline. If you want a future with your client, Christmas, New Year and the bank holidays cannot be used as excuses. Let them know your plans, when they can expect updates, and how you see the project spanning into the New Year.

With a clear schedule for expected work, your client will feel at ease knowing you’ve got the contract in hand. This level of professionalism speaks volumes, and always bodes well when pitching for business with the same client in the future.

4) Spread the Christmas cheer!

This one may sound a little cheesy, but 9 times out of 10 your client email correspondence will usually either be discussing contracts or invoices (boring!). So why not spend one evening creating your very own festive email message.

Send it to both your current and past clients, making sure you personalise each one. Thank them for any contracts in 2016 and let them know what you’ve enjoyed about each one. You could even let them know if you’d like to work with them in the future and what types of contracts you’d be looking to complete.

Business communications can sometimes be rather sterile, so use this month to your advantage and spread some festive friendliness!

5) Take some time to reflect on your achievements

December isn’t all about making sure everyone else has been looked after; it’s also a great time to reflect on the past year and consider how far you’ve come professionally.

What have you enjoyed (or not enjoyed) about your job? Are there areas you want to explore further, or maybe some training that could develop your skills in 2017?

Set aside one evening this December to reward all your hard work in 2016. Consider your development from January to where you are now, and where you want to be this time next year.

Set yourself some realistic goals, some tougher goals to achieve, and finally some dream goals. Then consider how you will reward yourself once you’ve achieve them. After all, there’s no fun in being your own boss if it’s all work and no play!

Final thoughts for a festively fantastic December

December is a great month for fun and celebration. But after all the presents are wrapped, the turkey is in the oven and the children have (finally) gone to sleep, don’t forget to raise a glass of your favourite bubbly to celebrate your success. After all, you certainly deserve it!

Jenny Winslow works for Intouch Accounting, the expert contractor accountancy firm for Limited Company contractors.