My productivity plummets during the holidays, help!

My productivity plummets during the holidays, help!

I’m normally a very productive person and pride myself on how much I can get done. As the holidays grow closer, though, I get less and less efficient no matter what strategies I try and it makes me feel like I’m doing a bad job. What should I do? P.L., New York, NY 

Let’s start by defining terms. Productivity in this case would be everything you get done in a day divided by the time you invest. Efficiency measures how well you do those things. I think you’re measuring the wrong things. Measuring how much you get done gives you a measuring stick, but does it really make a difference?

Instead, why not judge yourself on interactions, i.e., doing the “right” things? Highly effective individuals and companies act in ways that move their highest priorities forward on a regular basis. It requires good judgment and strong boundary setting to consistently set and reset priorities as circumstances change, but ultimately it will achieve the businesses’ goals, thereby making you as efficient as possible.

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