Your work life can be endlessly busy, and the holiday season is no different. Even more so than during the rest of the year, it’s important to prioritize your family during the holidays. Making holiday memories and celebrating together is more important than clients’ needs or deadlines.
No one wants to be standing in line at 11 pm on Christmas Eve with a cart full of toy aisle leftovers or missing memories because they were preoccupied on Christmas morning. So, how can you strike a balance between work life and family time during the craziness of the holidays?
Plan family time first. Your calendar can fill up fast with meetings and deadlines. Plan your family activities for the month and put them on the calendar as far in advance as possible. This will help ensure that you have the time blocked off to spend with your loved ones.
Learn to say “No.” The amount of holiday event invites that come in this time of year is overwhelming. No wonder we’re stretched too thin while trying to make an appearance every holiday festivity that comes our way.
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Look the events that you’ve been asked to attend and prioritize those that are important to you. Learn to decline invitations to decrease the stress of the holidays and free up time with your family.
Plan and prioritize. Our professional to-do lists are never-ending and don’t pause for the holidays. It’s important to look at the tasks at hand and have a conversation with yourself (and your manager if needed) to decide what has to be done first.
Most of the time you’ll find that many of the things on your to-do list can be postponed until after the holidays. Make a plan for the more urgent tasks and get those done first. Everything else can wait.
Harness the power of e-commerce. So much shopping has to be done for the holidays, and it can be a huge time-suck. With today’s endless online shopping options, there’s no reason you should have to actually go to the store. Order online and have everything delivered to your office to keep the packages safe from overly curious children.
Set expectations. Let employees or co-workers know when you will be unavailable and stay true to those boundaries. Communicate with them what projects you will be finishing before the holidays and what will have to wait. Let them know what they can expect.
More than ever, transparency and open communication are important during the holiday season. This can be applied to your family life, too. Communicate with your spouse or partner about what you have to accomplish before the holidays at work and your plan to get it all done. They will appreciate being in the loop and more understanding if you have to work later nights before the holidays to get it done.
Give 100% to the task at hand. Whether it’s at work or at home, be fully present in whatever activity you’re doing. At work, you will be more productive, and at home, you will be fully immersed in sharing priceless moments with your family. If you try to get work done and spend time with your family at the same time, you’ll inevitably do a mediocre job at both.
I hope these tips help through the holiday season. The most important thing to remember is that family should come first. They are your legacy and should be prioritized accordingly.