This time of year is legendary for having too much to do but not enough time, too much to buy but not enough money, and too much stress but you are supposed to be happy. It affects our workplace, our home life, and our future because stress affects the health of the body. So what does the busy executive focused on moving up the career path and having a life at the same time do about feeling so bad?
Rethink Your Expectations
Sometimes it helps to write down “the way the holidays are supposed to be” in every detail you can come up with. Then look at your fairy tale and notice how many of those expectations are not in your control or don’t matter as much as they once did.
Some families and individuals decide to pick the top priorities for their season and forget about doing the rest of it. What would your holiday look like if everybody picked one thing that was important to them? What is it about that thing that makes it important? It could be that the major cookie house competition was fun because it was goofy, not because you used home-baked cookies. Graham crackers and fruity cereals work just as well for goofy fun and are easier to do. A holiday without so much burden on people is enjoyable and refreshing, the way it’s supposed to be.
Accept Your Imperfections
This kind of goes along with expectations, but on a personal level. If you think that people come to your house to see how beautifully decorated and organized it is, you are mistaken. Most folks don’t care about the details: they want to feel like you like them more than you like your house. I tell myself that at least they will feel better about the mess they left at home when they see mine. People aren’t comfortable with perfection because people aren’t perfect.
At the office, the same thing happens when we mistakenly think we have to have our act totally together before we are accepted. But think about the people you work with — who is more approachable, the perfectionist pretender or the person who accepts their mistakes with a laugh and does what they can to learn from them?
Orient Your Focus
Whatever the holiday, there’s a reason for it. If you celebrate that holiday, then use the celebration to think about the reason it exists in your life. For most cultures, the holidays are times to reorient the focus to what is important in life. It’s a pause and a reminder, giving time to figure out what your non-holiday life should look like.
That means work, whatever your career is. Pick one thing in your career goals to do after the holidays are over (maybe consult a career coach) and let the things you bring out of a less-stressed holiday get you going in the weeks afterward.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful….but you’re stuck inside an office building collating papers all day while your boss and their family jets off to sunny beaches for the week. It can be depressing, especially when you look outside and see nothing but gray skies.
During the end of the year rush, a lot of employees will save their vacation time to use during the holiday season, and while people are out of the office on vacation, it becomes very important to try and stay motivated in an empty office building.
Here are some ways that you can stay motivated during the holiday season: Clean your office
Take some time and go through your office area, closet, filing cabinet, desk tops, email inbox, whatever and make sure what items you need or which can be discarded. Cleaning is a great distraction from everyday boredom, so find some time for your office. Schedule business meetings during slow times
You can invite potential or current clients to your office during the holiday season. The business meeting can be as formal or informal as you like, but make sure you stack the place with plenty of refreshments. You can serve finger foods or have a local restaurant cater the lunch. Whatever you do, do not spike the eggnog. Planning for next year
A lot of businesses are given a yearly budget to spend before the year is up, and leftover funds cannot be rolled over into next year, so they are lost. If you act quickly you can build relationships with these companies and then hit them up for business as the end of the year comes, they will have excess cash that will not be around for the New Year, so why not spend it now? Review your marketing or business expansion plan
Take a look at your goals and see which ones have been accomplished and find dates of completion for your other plans. If you have any unfinished goals, you can add them to the list for next year. The end of the year gets many people worried about next year, but this is your chance to be one step ahead. Go to every networking or holiday event
When the holidays are in season, you can bet there will be holiday parties. But while others are busy socializing, you can be busy building relationships with people you meet at these events. Keep your eyes open because you never know when you’ll pick up a new client. Offer close out deals If you are a small business, discount prices and packages for existing clients, or even new clients, as a great way to form alliances with a strategic business. Deals allow you to reach that one tough client you’ve been trying to get and at this time of the year, a lot of bosses want to look good on the bottom line. Switch it up and do something different every day Have coffee from somewhere new or just add two sugars instead of one. No matter what it is, just try something new. Break up the monotony.