Work/life balance can be an elusive goal even in the calmest of times, so what’s a busy corporate bee to do when holiday parties, vacationing co-workers, increased family obligations and the stress of gift-buying get thrown into the mix? It is possible to finish the work year strong and enjoy the season at the same time, and here are few tips for doing just that:
Make your list and check it twice. Creating a daily or weekly to-do list for both work and personal tasks can help keep you on track and focused on your short-term goals. While you’re at it, list out your budget for gifts, travel and entertainment. Thinking through and writing down what needs to be done, what needs to be bought or saved for, etc., will help straighten out that confusing jumble of thoughts running 90 mph through your brain.
Prioritize. Review your lists and decide which tasks are truly essential. The monthly report for the boss and a gift for your sweetheart are deserving of your time and energy right now. A new filing system for your desk can wait until January. And be wary of "procrasticlearing" – a clean desk is a great idea, but don’t let the sudden urge to de-clutter come at the cost of getting that report done.
Exercise. Just looking at the break room - loaded with home-baked goods and edible gifts - can make us gain weight. And sugar highs are not a good match for lengthy afternoon meetings or prolonged deskwork. Whether you hit the gym, walk around the building or sneak in a few yoga moves in your office, exercise will lift your mood and lower your stress.
Sleep. We know those Lifetime holiday movies aren’t going to watch themselves. However, your work and social schedule has likely ramped up, and something’s got to give. Don’t let it be sleep, which you need in order to function like a proper human being.
Enjoy. Finally, don’t be tempted to short-change the “life" part of the work/life balance. Gifts really do need to be purchased and wrapped, and relatives coming to town are worthy of your undivided time and attention. Whether you choose to take a personal day devoted to shopping or just get really good at letting work hours be work hours and home time be home time, remember to stop and smell the cookies.
I encourage you to share these quick tips with your employees, co-workers and even your friends because the best part of holiday season is sharing with those you care about it.
Here’s to a balanced holiday season!