I am a HUGE advocate of total vacations, but I understand that there are times when we still need to get things done during the holidays. Look below for a step-by-step guide to guilt-free holiday productivity.
Holiday Peace and Productivity
If you need to mix work and play this holiday season, follow these steps:
Put out of office messages on your e-mail and phone to buy yourself time on any new work.
Ask for extensions or "after the first of the year" deadlines on as many tasks as possible.
- Family dinner
- Siblings shopping trip
- Special concert
- Annual Christmas party
- Reading a book
- Going running
- Playing video games
Block in the most significant activities from the above two categories into your schedule with the understanding that it's OK to not participate in other activities.
Narrow down your to-do list to the most essential tasks that you absolutely must do or something will crash, explode, etc.
Think through when would be the most effective times to complete these projects and plan those work times into your schedule. (I find mornings when people are sleeping in or the week after Christmas both work well.)
Put all other to-dos on a "Would Like To Do" list with the recognition that if they don't get done over the holidays, it's OK.
When you start to hear voices in your head that you should feel guilty for not attending every cookie decorating party, tell them to "Shut up!" and remind yourself that you are investing time in the people and activities that are most important to you both personally and professionally.
To a peace-full and productive Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year!
Feeling overwhelmed?: Treat yourself to a Schedule Makeover™ this Christmas. Contact me at esaunders@RealLifeE.com to find out more.
About Real Life E®
Elizabeth Grace Saunders is the founder and CEO of Real Life E® a time coaching and training company that empowers individuals who feel guilty, overwhelmed and frustrated to feel peaceful, confident and accomplished. She is an expert on achieving more success with less stress. Real Life E® also increases employee productivity, satisfaction and work/life balance through training programs.
McGraw Hill published her first book The 3 Secrets to Effective Time Investment: How to Achieve More Success with Less Stress. Harvard Business Review recently published her second book How to Invest Your Time Like Money. Elizabeth contributes to blogs like Lifehacker, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, and the 99U blog on productivity for creative professionals and has appeared on CBS, ABC, NBC, and Fox.