The holidays are a stressful time filled with an abnormally busy list of things to do. There are gifts to shop for, relatives to visit, cards to sign and stamp, and crowds to conquer (or avoid). It quickly adds up, and suddenly a feeling of “I can’t do it all” takes over.
Like many of us, you probably have a regular job and have to somehow balance your work life with the holiday hustle and bustle. With all the chaos surrounding the most wonderful time of the year – as well as wandering happy thoughts of holiday vacation, Christmas feasts, and reunions with loved ones – it can be a challenge to stay focused and productive at work. These tips will help keep you centered and prioritized while you’re making your list and checking it twice.
Take Some Time Off
The end of the year is a busy time for work as well as holiday activities. Taking one or two personal days to get some holiday shopping and planning done can be a lifesaver. You likely won’t get it all knocked out in this time, but having the extra opportunity for holiday errands will reduce anxiety about how you’re going to get it all done.
Communicate Your Holiday Schedule
Think ahead about what you’ll need to get accomplished over the holidays and how much time you’ll need to do it. Figure out the time you’ll need to take off, including vacation time for visiting relatives, and then communicate it clearly to your boss. At the same time, express that you understand it’s a busy time in the office and ask your boss what their expectations are from you. Having clear, open communication about your holiday plans will ensure nothing gets neglected in the office and everyone gets what they need.
You think you have time, but you don’t. Shopping, traveling, and getting organized can take a lot longer than meets the eye, especially if you don’t have Santa’s elves to help you. To avoid stress, don’t put anything off until the last minute. Get started on your priorities early on so you have some extra padding if you need it.
Don’t Mix Personal and Work Tasks
While multitasking is often exalted in the workplace, it’s actually not efficient. This especially applies if you’re trying to mix doing personal errands with completing work projects. Keep the two healthily separate during this time of year. When at work, focus on your work; don’t shop online or do a quick run to the mall on your lunch break. Likewise, leave your work at work, and take care of holiday priorities in your spare time.
Tend to Your Health
Stress takes a heavy toll on the body, and it’s easy to run yourself down while trying to make everyone happy. Be sure to take care of yourself by getting adequate sleep and eating well. This means no late nights shopping online and packing healthy snacks instead of maintaining a diet of mall food.
Get into the Spirit
Amidst all the stuff that needs to get done, all the sales that need to be taken advantage of, and all the ground rules you need to set for your family reunion dinner, take time to remember what the holidays are about. Let yourself relax and enjoy the spirit of the season. If your inner Scrooge starts to show, just go back to these tips and remember: it’s only once a year!