Five Ways to Stay Productive on St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated with everything green: green beer, green accessories and parades in the street (and rivers dyed green in some cities). So why not make non-self-employed office workers green with envy? Self-employed professionals can use the day as a good excuse to slip out of the office a bit early to enjoy the spirit and atmosphere of the Irish holiday without feeling guilty. After all, entrepreneurs work hard and are quite productive. They deserve the break and to drink at least one of those 13 million pints of Guinness that will be downed on March 17th.

Although friends and family often don’t understand the lives we lead (I run my own freelance writing business, but many friends consider me a slacker … just because I work from the comfort of my own home), we can share that knowing wink amongst ourselves that says “we can get more done in half a day than we ever could in a full day in a traditional office environment.”

Can entrepreneurs still be productive on a day that’s forever linked with Guinness, green beer (don’t get me started on that one) and Jameson’s? Here are five tips for keeping your productivity high so you can slip out for a mid-afternoon pint (and for recovery the next morning). And some of these tips are good for an office environment too!

Avoid distractions

Focus, focus, focus. There are so many distractions in today’s technologically savvy world, from Facebook to Twitter to general surfing. On a regular day, these distractions are welcome and can help you keep your sanity (some workers only use Facebook while working, so beware of lost productivity), but on St. Patrick’s Day, push those distractions aside so you can keep your productivity as high as possible and get plenty of work done before you head to the parades.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

Determine what absolutely has to be done on March 17th, and do that. Leave the small stuff for March 18th, when you should no doubt be fully rested after a night of fun and celebration.

Set your alarm clock an hour earlier

It may be an unusually cruel suggestion considering we just set our clocks ahead by an hour, but if you get an early start to the day, you’ll feel better about disconnecting early. Early birds not only get the worm, but they’re also more productive.

Schedule your meetings for the morning or avoid meetings all together

There are often days when I want to leave early or actually take the entire day as a vacation (hey, entrepreneurs may be keeners, but we’re entitled to some time off, too). To do that, I plan ahead as early as possible. Schedule meetings for the morning. Even better, push them out a day – preferably to the afternoon of March 18th for enough recuperation time.

Have a quick lunch

If you were joining the rat race with the commuters, you might pack yourself a bagged lunch. Consider doing the same thing, no matter whether you work in an office or from your home. Although it’s good to get away from your desk (as eating lunch at your desk is blamed for weight gain) and recharge your batteries at lunch, consider this a special circumstance and munch on your PB&J at your desk. It’ll save time and keep you productive while you eat.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Celebrate responsibly. May your hangover be nothing more than a reminder of the good times you surely had.

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