BEST PRACTICEElite AgentMindset and Personal DevelopmentOPINION

The psychological exodus: losing momentum before the Christmas break

As the holiday season approaches and the prospect of the Christmas break looms, it is not uncommon for us to mentally check out and lose momentum in the days leading up to the end of the working year.

This phenomenon, often characterised by a decline in productivity, focus, and motivation, can significantly impact your ability to stay engaged and efficient in tasks before going on leave – creating a psychological exodus.  

One of the primary reasons for this decline in momentum is the psychological impact of impending time off.

The mind tends to wander as you begin mentally checking out before physically leaving your place of work.

Tasks that once seemed urgent or essential may suddenly appear less pressing as the allure of holiday festivities takes priority in your thoughts.

Additionally, fatigue and burnout accumulated throughout the year may exacerbate the tendency to mentally check out before the holiday break.

As you feel the weight of a year’s worth of responsibilities, you may find yourself succumbing to exhaustion, making it challenging to maintain the same level of productivity and engagement in the days leading up to the holidays.

However, while the inclination to mentally check out before Christmas break is not that unusual, it is essential to reduce its impact to maintain efficiency and productivity.

The last thing you want to do is to go into the holidays with no momentum or pipeline for 2024, causing you to stress and worry about next year, when you should be enjoying a well-deserved break.

Recognising this pattern and implementing strategies to counteract it can be beneficial.

Smaller goals

One way you can stay on top of your game and productivity, is to set smaller, ‘doable’ goals and deadlines for tasks before the holiday period.

This can help maintain focus and prevent procrastination when it would be easy to say, “That’s a next year job”.

Breaking down larger projects into smaller, manageable tasks and prioritising them can prevent a total loss of momentum and ensure steady progress, so you can finish the year strongly.


Creating a structured schedule and adhering to it can also be beneficial.

Block out time for work-related tasks while also allowing time for holiday preparations, can help strike a balance, preventing complete disengagement from responsibilities.

Plus, practicing mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or short breaks for mental recharge can aid in combating distractions and regaining focus.

Countering the psychological exodus

In conclusion, the tendency to mentally check out and lose momentum before the Christmas holidays is a common phenomenon, but one that can and should and can be avoided.

The allure of the upcoming break, coupled with the festive atmosphere, often leads to a decline in productivity and focus.

However, by acknowledging this pattern and implementing strategies to stay on track, you can navigate this period more effectively, ensuring that productivity remains intact despite the holiday anticipation.

Balancing work responsibilities with holiday preparations and self-care is key to making the most of the remaining time before the break and starting the holidays with a sense of accomplishment.

Go into these holidays with positive momentum so you can truly relax, knowing you have tasks in the pipeline ready for 2024.

Stay strong. Stay balanced.

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Shane Kempton

Shane Kempton is the CEO of Harcourts WA and the network high performance coach.