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Holiday Survival Guide for the Work at Home Professional

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    (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

    The holiday season can be a stressful and chaotic time filled with distractions if you’re working from home. Here are some tips to help you enjoy the holidays while keeping up with business.

    Shut the door. If you have kids at home on break, carve out time to spend with them, but be deliberate about that time. Don’t let your home office have an open-door policy. Work is necessary and it is helping pay for all the holiday happenings.

    Draw the line. The holidays are a very difficult time for work. The lure of Internet shopping and holiday activities can pull you away from business. Set boundaries for yourself as to how much holiday you can allow in your day.

    Make a list and check it twice. With the overload of to-dos during December, you must work your lists. Whether they’re electronic or old-fashioned paper lists, each day create a list of everything you’d like to get done, then be realistic. Circle the top five activities to ensure they get crossed off.

    Separate the seasonal. Don’t allow your home office to become wrapping-place central and gift storage. When you surround yourself with the distractions of the season, it’s much easier to get pulled away from work. Keep gifts, wrapping, decorations, etc., out of your work environment.

    Take a break. Yes, you need to work, but giving yourself a break to get other holiday tasks done is okay. Statistics show your work focus improves if you give yourself the break to accomplish tasks that are hanging over your head.

    Enjoy! Remember the holidays can be a magical time and your mindset plays a huge roll in that. Enjoy the season, schedule time to be with family and friends. It has actually been proven that taking time to enjoy the season will reduce stress. So what're you waiting for?

    Monica Friel is president and founder of Chaos To Order - the Chicago area's premiere organizing company since 1990. Friel manages and trains a staff of professional organizers who specialize in everything from household clutter to corporate chaos.