Yes, You Can Channel Your Intense Holiday Anticipation and Actually Get Work Done This Week

Photo: Getty Images/svetikd
This time of year, it's all about chestnuts roasting and sleigh bells ringing. That is, until someone dares to slide into your email inbox with something pressing. For me, trying to meet deadlines just a week before I fall into a Christmas coma feels like running up a snow-covered hill rather than sledding down it.

Recently, Shine Text (an app that sends its users an encouraging message each morning) told me to "close out 2018 using your voorpret," a dutch word that basically means the ecstatic anticipation one feels before a momentous occasion (like Christmas!). I felt seen

But here's the question: How do you keep your mind from drifting to visions of sugarplums when there's work to be done? According to life coach and author Susie Moore, the key is to operate under a holiday activity reward system. Below, she offers five tips:

1. Turn off your notifications! (But seriously, this time): While this advice is valid in any season, Moore says this time of year is best spent decking the halls and decorating cookies. "Check your apps when you want to. This really helps with focus! Notifications are distractions from hell," she says. Preach.

2. Pop your festive favorites right into your planner: "Schedule all the fun stuff you want and mark it clearly in your calendar. That way you'll have no FOMO, and can enjoy work-time leading to evening (or weekend) time," she recommends.

3. Don't be afraid to turn on holiday-themed music at the office: Bouncy as it may be, "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" on repeat could be considered a form of torture in any month. To get the mood-boosting benefits of holiday tunes without the ditties turning into a distraction (or without your coworkers turning on you!), Moore suggests jazz renditions of your favorites, sans lyrics.

4. Add holiday emojis to all your correspondence: "Infuse holiday fun into your work—wish everyone happy holidays! Use Christmas emojis in your emails," says the career coach. GIFs are welcome, too. [Insert: Buddy the Elf in the revolving glass door.]

5. Before you leave the office, prep for 2019: Face it, if you don't clear out those Christmas decorations from your desk before departing for vacation, the lights and jingle bells will be pure sadness come January when you return to work. "Clear your desk, tie up loose ends, aim for an empty inbox—all with the enthusiasm you'll be strutting out of there soon. Then enjoy your break and return raring to go," says Moore. I mean, who wants to start 2019 with a filthy workspace?

If the holidays are less than magical for you, here's how to deal if you clash with your parent's S.O. and the steamy romance novels that will get you through.

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