At this busy time of year, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with the amount of work that needs to be completed before the holidays. Luckily, Productivity Expert Michelle McQuaid has partnered with Officeworks to help identify some of the unproductive behaviours people slip into and to share how to better manage time in busy periods. Michelle visited our office to help diagnose and correct our troublesome areas, and gave a lot of great insight into how remain productive even under stressful conditions.


While it feels like you are being inundated with work in busy times, Michelle was quick to point out that you need to remember that “there’s only so many hours in a day” To keep on top of things, she suggests to set expectations, reevaluate what you have committed to and how realistic this is, and if necessary, reprioritise to make sure you achieve your goals without panic.


When it comes to workload management, Michelle suggests the simplest solution is one that is already familiar to you. “The best way to manage work loads during busy periods is to think about what has worked in the past”. She suggests to consider what are your strengths and what are your weaknesses, and plan accordingly to make sure you can complete everything you need to effectively.

It’s not just making sure that you are on top of things leading into Christmas, but making sure you’re not hit with work-shock when you return after the festive break. Michelle suggests to “set one, if not two, days before you leave for Christmas break to clear as much as possible so you’re not leaving the office dreading coming back”. Likewise, she suggests to do the same when you return to make sure you begin the new year on the right foot.


Michelle was quick to point out that a clean desk (or desktop) is a good sign of a clean mind, and is one of the best ways to make your workday as productive as it can be, adding that she suggests to take five minutes or so a day to tidy your workspace (or pesky inbox!).

Other helpful tips offered where the implementation of an ‘in’ tray to easily locate tasks that need to be prioritised, and easily located places for things like important files, pens, USBs, etc. so time looking for things is kept to a minimum. On the more ergonomic side, Michelle points out that getting your monitor up and off the desk, and the use a wireless keyboard (especially if you use a laptop) is imperative to make sure that you are maintaining your body as well as your mind.

We hope that with these tips, you will recognise some of the behaviours in your own work-lives and begin to employ similar tactics to help remain productive during the crazy busy end to the year!

About The Author

Paige Richards

Paige's nitpicking of misspelt menu items led her to find her love of editing. Living in her adopted city of Melbourne, she is ever in pursuit of the perfect coffee, and the perfect little black everything. And like the wise Carrie Bradshaw once said, she keeps her money where she can see it - hanging in her closet.

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