With the holidays coming up, both work and home life will be chaotic. Everyone's rushing around trying to get things done before the break, while at the same time trying to relax and enjoy time with family. Some employees take time off and wind up leaving the burden to others. Managers often find themselves drowning in deadlines and struggling to stay afloat.
Consider these tips your personal and professional life preserver. Grab on, hold on tight and you just might make it through December!
The only thing worse than doing nothing is trying to do everything. Now is not the time to be a people-pleaser, perfectionist or push-over. As we learned in Part 1 of How to Balance Accessibility and Productivity, analyze your list of responsibilities. Evaluate the parameters of each task and determine the ultimate value. Some projects and meetings should jump out as essential. Complete the top priorities and either delegate or reschedule the others.
Communicate your priorities to your supervisor and your employees. Find out which tasks are most important to the group and then be willing to give and take.
Finally, don't let peer pressure, or fear of missing out, guilt you into attending every single party or gathering. Do what works best for your schedule, health and needs. It's okay to say no!
2. Enforce Limits
If you agree to take on additional responsibilities, set definite restrictions ahead of time. There will always be more work to do so don't let yourself drown in a sea of workload. Pick a time that you will absolutely leave the office no matter what. For instance if you aren't finished with your tasks by 7pm, force yourself to leave anyway. If you're about to miss a deadline, take your work home or get up early the next day. Go home, get some food and rest up. It's all about pacing yourself!
Your staff may also be inclined to overwork themselves, or even worse, take too much vacation time. Make sure that your team commits to their schedules and everyone works together. One person shouldn't have to carry the burden for everyone else.
At holiday parties or get-togethers, don't let yourself get wrapped up in all of the cooking, cleaning and decorating. Let your family and friends know that you need help and that you appreciate their support.
3. Avoid Distractions
Since every moment counts this time of year, make a special effort to avoid getting side-tracked. Turn your phone off when you aren't using it. Don't take any additional calls or meetings unless they are essential or urgent. Again prioritization is key. With all of the potlucks, decorations, videos, and gossip going around, stay focused on the task at hand.
You may catch your employees getting distracted by all of the holiday hoopla. As we learned in Respectful Relationships, sometimes it's better to be a boss first and a friend later. Gently remind them of their priorities and enforce limits. Make sure everyone understands when it's appropriate to take a break and when it's not.
Family drama is nearly unavoidable during the holidays. Pick your battles wisely and remind yourself it's nearly impossible to accommodate everyone. When tensions arise, do your best to communicate to your friends and family that you love and support them no matter what.
4. Stay Healthy
High levels of stress, cold weather and rich foods can be a volatile combination. Don't let the hustle and bustle take a toll on your health. Make an extra effort to exercise each day, even if just for 10 minutes. Force yourself to take breaks and get some fresh air throughout the day. Do your best to stay hydrated and make healthy meal choices. And for goodness sakes, get some sleep!
If your staff members are sick, encourage them to get some rest or at the very least, work from home. For potluck parties, bring a veggie tray to balance out all of the rich foods.
If your family members are sick, don't feel obligated to try to salvage a reunion. Everyone should be able to rest and set their own pace. Sometimes it's just better to reschedule.
5. Be Grateful
When times are hectic it can be easy to complain. Everyone is stressed out and negativity can fill the air. Do your best to combat it with gratitude. Racing around a million miles an hour can prevent you from living in the moment and appreciating the small acts of kindness. Take a moment each day to list the small wins like making a coworker smile or donating a dollar to charity. You'll find yourself feeling relieved and refueled to continue on.
Encourage your staff to spread positivity. Compliment a job well done or reach out to an employee who is struggling. Communicate your appreciation and your dedication to your team.
Jealousy, greed, and sloth tend to be more evident during the holidays. Counteract the negativity with gratitude. Remind your friends and family that there are those less fortunate and we should all lead by example.
Do you feel you still need an extra boost to make it through the holidays? Reshape your thinking with The Power of Self-Talk.