While this holiday season may look a little different this year, it doesn’t mean the struggle between balancing home and work life won’t present itself. The holidays are a joyous (but maybe stressful) time for many. Between trying to entertain kids on holiday break, squeezing in your Christmas shopping, and work responsibilities, the next few weeks are bound to take a toll. Use the following tips, inspired by the 12 days of Christmas, to help get yourself into the Christmas spirit while maintaining WFH productivity.

1. One schedule for yourself

Scheduling is everything! Staying organized this holiday season will help you balance all of the responsibilities on your plate. Write down everything from your upcoming meeting to your holiday shopping list or virtual workout class.

2. Two sets of boundaries (home and work!)

It’s important to communicate and set expectations with both your work and your family. For work, set boundaries when it comes to weekends, late nights, or essential holiday traditions. For your family, set “productive hours” into your day and ask them not to interrupt or barge into your office during those times.

3. Three hours working

Studies show that out of an 8-hour workday, employees are only productive for 3 of those hours. Our brains are not meant to be staring at a computer screen for hours on end. Instead of feeling guilty for not staying productive the whole day, just focus on the first three hours and maximize that time.

4. Four cups of coffee (okay, maybe that’s a lot…)

For songwriting, let’s just pretend these are teeny, tiny cups. 

5. Five days of work

Working five days a week doesn’t have to mean Monday through Friday, but if you want your weekends free, take them!

6. Six feet apart

As always maintain social distancing guidelines whenever possible, even on your daily walk. 

7. Seven minutes scrolling

We all occasionally get enthralled in the depths of the internet. Whether it’s reading the news headlines or scrolling through social media, use that time as a mental break but make sure it doesn’t affect your productivity too much.

8. Eight favorite pens

This also might be excessive…but some of us do have our favorite pens, highlighters, pencils, etc. It’s the little things in life.

9. Nine unopened emails

And leave them that way! Unless you’re dealing with pressing issues, take a break from constantly checking your email to enjoy the holidays with friends and family.

10. Ten-minute breaks

It’s important to take breaks throughout the workday. Studies show that a 10-minute exercise or nap break (depending on the kind of person you are) every so often can help you stay mentally healthy and keep you from feeling bored. 

11. Eleven cookies baking

Because your recipe makes 12, but you probably got hungry during the process. It happens!

12. Twelve friends and family Zooming

Even though gathering with family and friends has been difficult this holiday season, make an effort to spend part of your celebration with loved ones far from you. This will help you all feel festive and connected, despite the pandemic.

Happy holidays to all!