Thanksgiving in the US is only a few weeks away rapidly followed by all of the celebrations of December.
And you’re probably already wondering how you will manage it all. Productivity pointers to the rescue!
First, make a plan. I wrote about planning in the last ezine so you can go back for the how to. If you can plan in advance for the holidays, they will be much less stressful. We are hosting Thanksgiving this year, but it’s always a potluck. A few weeks ago, I asked everyone what they want to bring. I only have to cook one turkey and provide the locale. My brother loves to fry a turkey and since we are a big crowd we will have two turkey options. My sister-in-law loves to bake – I am not a baker – so she will make all of the pies. My aunt always makes the sweet potatoes with the marshmallow topping, my niece the mashed potatoes and my Mer makes the gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce. Everyone else brings veggies and wine.
That’s our Thanksgiving system. I know exactly what I have to do when and I don’t go it alone.
So think about that when planning for work. Who can you collaborate with to get the projects done? Write down everything you need to do and calendar it. The more you have on ‘paper’ (I use Google Calendar), the less distracted you will be.
Take Time Off
Just schedule it now. You know you’re going to need to attend your kids’ holiday show, shop for holiday gifts and visit with family and friends. Closely related to this is don’t multitask. Shopping on Amazon while trying to generate a report or have an important call is ineffective. You will be distracted and it will show. Calendar a half hour or more at the end of the day for all of those extra tasks. Partner with your spouse or a friend to swap kids, so you can get the holiday shopping, cooking, cleaning done. If you love to write holiday cards, start them now. Or do what I do, choose a random holiday and your card will be remembered as the only one in the mailbox!
I take a week off at the end of the year. Put days off in your calendar now, so you can plan the rest of your work weeks. Make sure some of that time off is for rest and recovery. The holidays can be exhausting and we are all guilty of overbooking. I only attend two to three-holiday parties in the entire month of December. I look at all of my invitations and I choose wisely. Painful yes; I do love a good party. But I also know I can burn out and get pneumonia. Why risk it?
Stay in your routine as much as possible. Get an accountability buddy to help you with this. I belong to a healthy accountability group. I have noticed we are all checking in quite a bit as we head into the temptation zone of the holidays.
If you exercise every morning, don’t stop. If you don’t exercise yet, start with a 10-minute walk every day. Exercise releases serotonin, a feel-good molecule that helps stave off depression and negativity. A serotonin boost helps you feel more creative and focused. Who doesn’t want that? If you just don’t have enough time, cut your workout in half, but just make sure you keep at it. Holidays can be stressful and not always happy for everyone. Exercise will help with that.
Also, watch what you eat. I, for one, can be notorious for watching what I eat while I eat it. LOL. In all seriousness, have a bowl of vegetable soup before you head out to the party with those oh so tempting mini hotdogs, drink a green smoothie or a protein shake for breakfast, bring a handful of almonds to snack on at your mid-afternoon crash instead of snarfing Jill’s homemade cookies in the company cafeteria.
I spoke to the goddess of all things sleep (she also happens to be a long time friend and client), Ingrid Prueher of https://www.ingridbabysleepwhisperer.com.
From our conversation: “In a 2016 study conducted by RAND Corporation, sleep deprivation cost the US $411 billion a year and over 1 million lost workdays. Workers either didn’t show up for work due to an unstable immune system, most likely due to lack of sleep or workers showed up late to work. Overall sleep deprivation compromises your immune system, creates brain fog, makes you sluggish and makes you irritable.”
There just isn’t enough Ingrid and I can say about the importance of a good night’s sleep. Lots of late nights out and sooner or later your body, your mind, and your mood will pay the price. If I don’t sleep, I am unfocused and grumpy. Nobody wants that. Nothing fun happens at the party late at night anyway. Leave while you’re still having a great time. Get home and get your zzzz’s. You’ll thank me tomorrow.
That’s all there is to it. Plan now so you can enjoy the holidays later. Let me know what fun you’re planning for the holidays!
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