How to use Halloween for Productivity

How to use Halloween for Productivity

October 30, 2019

Whether “The Haunting of Hill House”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” or “Halloween – the night of horror” – on Thursday, October 31, 2019, the time has come again: Halloween is just around the corner. While children claim “trick or treat” according to American custom, adults dress up as zombies, mass murderers or vampires. To which camp do you belong?

To those who categorically reject Halloween and devalue it as a pure shopping experience? Or to those who already start planning their own Halloween party after Easter, which should be as original as possible? Do you carve a scary monster face into a giant pumpkin at lightning speed?

The Origins of Halloween


Contrary to the widespread belief that the Halloween custom originated in the United States of America, Halloween has its origins in Europe. The Celts, who lived in Scotland and Ireland among other places, celebrated the transition from summer to winter. The festival was called “Samhain”, which means “end of summer”. The Feast of the Dead was traditionally held on the eleventh full moon night of a year, the beginning of winter in the Celtic calendar. The Celts knew only two seasons: Summer and winter. In Celtic culture, summer symbolized life, winter the end of life, death. The night of the Samhain was therefore magical: a single night in which the living and the dead met, two worlds that collided. To pay homage to their dead relatives, families offered their deceased a sumptuous meal. Over the centuries, this custom changed, for death was no longer perceived as something natural, but was increasingly feared. And so people began to disguise themselves as undead on the Night of the Dead in order to cheat death. Should one encounter Grim Reaper’s death that night, one hoped to outwit him by means of the disguise. They also laid small offerings outside the door to appease death.

Nowadays Halloween has been strongly commercialized. Children with lanterns and creepy costumes go from door to door to get candy according to the saying “trick or treat”. If they don’t get them, they can play a (harmless) trick on the adults. The adults organize Halloween parties, sometimes with more effort than at carnival.

How can Halloween be transferred to the world of work?

Perhaps while reading the title, you secretly thought to yourself: “How do you want this to work? Halloween in the process industry?” Of course, I’m not talking about the entire workforce dressing up as zombies or Frankenstein’s monsters to increase productivity. I mean Halloween in a figurative sense.

The year is drawing to a close with giant steps. Have you ever reviewed what you have achieved so far this year? If not, open a writing program on your computer or smartphone. Make a note of what you have achieved per month. What were you busy with? What thoughts are on your mind? What were you angry about? If the monthly presentation is too detailed for you and you can’t remember everything, try thinking in milestones. What can you remember? Make a note of everything that goes through your mind. Then take a look at the goals you set yourself together with your boss. Which points are outstanding? Are there ghosts you are afraid of? Unpleasant things that you put off until the end? What are they?

Confront yourself with your personal ghosts

Everyone has special talents and abilities. It is only natural that we do not master everything equally well. Instead of going new ways and breaking through routines, we prefer to rely on things that we have already mastered. After all, we could fail, achieve the desired result only with considerable effort or, in the worst case, lose face. Maybe an analysis report or the review of an SOP has to be done, but you push the day-to-day business forward. Or you would have to set up a project with colleague X a long time ago, but don’t really want it because you don’t like him or her. In your private life, you may have decided to go running three times a week. Do you know the situation?

What are your personal ghosts? Who or what have you banished to a remote corner?

Don’t worry, there are no tips in the sense of “Free your inner child”. Just get involved in confronting your personal spirits. Look your supposed enemies in the face.

Get more productive with Halloween

Well, look, you’re still here. Ready for the next step? So let’s go.

Stop postponing. In most cases, the unloved tasks are not done by magic. Do it today. Make yourself a battle plan. How can you best solve the task strategically? Do you need support? But most importantly, start with it. Immediately. Reserve a daily timeslot of 30 minutes or set a specific day of the week, such as Friday, on which you will take care of the more unpleasant tasks.

You will see that after about three weeks the unwanted tasks become routine. Or perhaps you discover an undreamt-of talent in yourself? Maybe the unloved task will fascinate you after all. No matter how the whole thing turns out: You swallowed your pride. Left the old spirits behind and discovered new productivity. You can be proud of that.

Do you want to know more? Then take a look at the following motivational video from Tony Robbins.


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Thank you, Halloween.

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