It’s that time of the year. You have to buy presents, wrap them up, gift it to people, go to that party your friend’s having. Now this is all fun and while you can’t wait to get to it, you also have to meet that work deadline and it sort of throws your personal life off balance. For all the songs about the holidays being such a wonderful time, ironically, it can get stressful; and to top this, Sushil from work decided to cash in his holidays to take the entire month off, and now you’re stuck with more than you can chew on your plate.
Now the four main things that occupy your headspace are Work, Health, Relationship and Hobbies. All these things have to co-exist for things to stay copacetic in your life. Balancing these, especially during the holidays sure is a task but it is not exactly rocket science. All you need to do is follow a few steps to make your holidays a bit more cheerful.
Draw up a schedule
Creating deadlines and schedules don’t exactly go along with the holiday spirit, right? But when you look at the bigger picture, trust us, it works. Setting up a schedule for all the things you have to do does go a long way in helping you navigate the stressful week and hopefully make it a bit less stressful. It’s not natural to time a schedule to meet with your friends, but doing this helps you appreciate the present more. You focus on the task at hand and since you have a clear idea of what to do next, you won’t find yourself worrying about returning to work after your vacation.
Learn to say no
Certain work requires you to be flexible with your schedule and sometimes even break the flow, but you have to learn when to be flexible and when to take a stand and say no. Always, no matter what, put yourself first. It can seem a bit daunting to do this, but learning when to say no and yes can make a lot of difference in how you spend the holidays and how your family spends it.
Know where to draw the line
Talking about multitasking, the idea of creating boundaries seems unproductive, why not send that email, during the family dinner? Two birds one stone! But by doing this you’re not only inviting more work for yourself but you’re also setting yourself up for regret later on when you realise you missed that insanely funny joke your aunt cracked. Avoid bringing your work into your home and vice versa. Try to limit your technology exposure during personal time. Let your team or boss know that you have a family and make sure they respect those boundaries.
Work double hard
There’s no way around it, but you have to work. So why not make your work more efficient? Cut out low-value activities, don’t allow yourself to engage in the usual social media breaks and mindless feed scrolling. While this may give you immediate satisfaction, you could instead focus and get more work done. This will in turn give you more time to focus on your personal life.
Give yourself a work cushion for when you’re back
Don’t make the mistake of letting deadlines creep up once you’re back from vacation. It’s one thing to get a head start on any work you might otherwise need to do. But, the second part of the equation entails setting team deadlines that are at least a week or more out from your vacation. This ensures that when you come back to the office, you’ll have some cushion to readjust. This is especially crucial if you plan on traveling extensively.
Maybe this is not exactly how you planned your holidays, but at the end of the day, all that matters is you’re happy and trying all these out is the way to go.
If all that fails, you can always say you smell something burning and run to the kitchen. Happy Holidays!
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