Is it the most wonderful time of the year, like the song says? Sure, the holidays bring out something different in everyone - for better or worse, but with the season approaching, the stress around managing a work schedule is not far behind. Keeping track of who’s on vacation, what work has to get done before the end of the year, or how you will juggle family and that final push before the New Year, can become extremely stressful.
There is one thing you can do to reduce the stress that you feel building right now as you read this: PLAN! You may not be able to avoid working late while you are preparing the turkey for your 20 guest on Thanksgiving. Here are a few things you can do to achieve “work-life balance” during the holidays:
Team members want to spend time with their families and enjoy the holidays just like you. Get together with your team, create an out of office schedule, determine office closings, and prioritize “must do” versus “like to do” items.
2) Work from home
Consider working from home, rather than using vacation days. Whether you’re dialing into a conference call in your reindeer pajamas or putting the finishing touches on a report with a cup of hot chocolate in your hand, the work is still getting done.
3) Add one more workout to your week
Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, adrenaline and cortisol. It also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. You have enough stress from your in-laws coming over for the next few days, take a break from them for an hour and destress with a quick sweat break.
4) Put in a few extra hours
Before the wave of holidays approach, do a little planning and add one hour of work to your day, each day leading up to the end of the year. This will allow you to get more work done and hopefully put you ahead, allowing you to relax once the holidays arrive.
5) Say NO
Before you get too carried away with ignoring e-mails, declining phone calls, or skipping out on that family ice skating venture- let us explain what we are really telling you here! You are the only person who is going to know what is and is not manageable during the holidays. The practice we are trying to teach is balance- and sometimes that involves politely declining the invitation to your 5th cookie swap party. Telling someone no or that you can’t get to it that day every now and then is perfectly okay - remember this is all about balance!
Finding the balance between work and family time is often difficult, but extremely important. However, never forget that the holidays only roll around once a year! Make sure to embrace them and the time spent with your family, and try new things. By understanding that the holidays are a busy time and working with your team, you’ll be rewarded with employees who are more productive year round. The more creative and open-minded you can be, the better the chance that you’ll sail through this time of the year without incident or lack of productivity.
- Anthony, Marketing Manager