As we all head home from our Thanksgiving feasts with family and friends, our minds quickly shift to the Christmas season. How will we handle the busiest time of year both with our time and financially? In addition to our normal daily responsibilities at home and work, we also will have to manage the parties, shopping, and stress of the season.
With all of the added responsibilities and stress it is easy to lose focus and miss a customer or client deadline, a child’s Christmas party or program, or forget a present for that special someone. Also, for more on how to swing the Christmas Holiday financially please see – 6 Ways to Budget for the Holidays. Here are some ideas on how to manage everything on our plate and still hit those targets at work.
1) Scheduling – We all try to work from a schedule at the office or workplace, and do a pretty good job of planning and putting all the projects/tasks on a schedule. Whether it’s a sales meeting, customer or client deadline, or month-end financials are due; we schedule our time to get these things done accordingly. You should include your personal items on the schedule as well. Block out specific time for all of your tasks both work and personal and stick to the schedule. A calendar or schedule helps us to stay efficient because we only have a limited amount of time for each task/project. You don’t want to be doing work or all of your shopping once your Christmas vacation starts.
2) Prioritize – Make a list of what you need to get done (one for work and one for personal) prior to your Christmas vacation. When you are making your list, think about what has to get done and the consequences if it doesn’t get done. This will help you prioritize the most important things – do them first.
3) Focus – Do one thing at a time and stay focused. It’s easy to lose focus at work and start thinking about all the things you have to do at home or other projects at work. Remember you have a calendar with dedicated time blocked to handle each project. Check things off the list as you complete them, and don’t try to juggle everything at once.
4) Manage days off – Plan for the vacation days at work. Put in the extra time at work throughout the month or with shorter breaks, so you aren’t trying to put five days of work into just three days on the Christmas vacation week.
5) Delegate – It’s easy to get overwhelmed and let your mind race, which has an impact on your efficiency and effectiveness. Stop, organize, and delegate what you can. Remember the employees working for and with you were hired because they are good at what they do. They can handle the extra responsibility.
6) Stress relief – Keep time on the calendar for stress relief. It’s easy to go a little crazy when everything at work is due yesterday, you’ve put up a million lights on the house and none of them work, the extended family is taking over your house, and things don’t work just like you expected financially for the Christmas vacation. Next thing you know you have cut the post on your inside staircase with a chainsaw, the turkey is burnt, your great uncle burns down the tree and a squirrel is loose in the house. These are the times when you will wish you had taken that jog or time to sit and relax.
It can be difficult to handle the stress and expectations during and leading up to your Christmas vacation. Keep a good home and work balance and stay focused with your tasks. Plan for an efficient and productive December, so that you can be rewarded with a great Christmas vacation.