It’s officially the middle of the holiday season, and while we’re all reveling in The Most Wonderful Time of The Year (cc: Andy Williams), December is notorious for quick turnaround projects, last-minute changes, and down-to-the-wire requests before the books are closed on 2018.

On top of this, a whopping 68% of employees admit to being less productive around the holidays. We get it—it’s hard to focus with the looming promise of PTO. So, to stay on track, try your hand at the art of effective planning.

Step 1: Prioritize the items on your to-do list.

Step 2: Take your top jobs and break them into smaller, more manageable little projects. Oftentimes, a seemingly scary project is nothing more than a series of easily accomplished (and, okay, sometimes boring) scheduled tasks. TED talker extraordinaire Tim Urban can take it from here…and here…with a little former Navy SEAL here for good measure.

Some real-world application: this famous painting by Claude Monet (extra credit if you check it out at the Cleveland Museum of Art). This masterpiece is six and a half feet tall and fourteen feet wide; by all accounts, an enormously time-consuming project.

If you look at the work in its entirety, it’s incredibly daunting. Until you consider that Monet painted the piece one brushstroke at a time—zoom and gape in awe.

Think of each of brushstroke as one of your specific tasks: they’re infinitely more accomplishable when considered individually instead of staring down your enormous project/impressionist masterpiece. Voilà: this is the art (pun fully intended) of effective planning.

Step 3 (after you’ve broken down and crushed the 20-page deck that’s due first thing tomorrow or the 91-square-foot, Louvre-worthy canvas): Celebrate with a seasonally appropriate beverage or a record-setting work by none other than the man, the myth, the legend himself. You know, for inspiration.

Have a brilliantly crafted weekend, everybody!

– Your detail-oriented friends at Brokaw

Here’s our fool-proof, fail-safe secret to staying focused, being more productive, and stopping procrastination in its tracks.

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