The holidays are around the corner and while Christmas is supposed to be about family time and relaxation, it often contributes to massive stress. Gift shopping, party planning, visiting relatives and attempting to handle professional tasks at the same time will prove to be too much even for experienced Christmas planners.
Taking a breath and slowing down is one of the prerequisites for having seasonal fun. The following tips will highlight some of the best ways to enjoy Christmas this year and maintain a high level of productivity.
Make a Plan, Maintain the Work to Life Balance
Good preliminary planning is an essential step towards stress reduction.
The sooner you start planning the festivities, the more time you’ll have for handling all of the tasks.
Sit down and draft a list of everything you need to do. Getting started in November or early December is ideal. This way, you’ll have enough time for presents, decorating your home, inviting relatives order, planning a wonderful party and dedicating enough time to your kids and significant other.
When planning, you should always keep the work-life balance in mind. During the week, you have to be present and effective at the office. Thus, you should dedicate the weekends to shopping, decorating and all the other little Christmas tasks.
If you feel overwhelmed or you have a lot to complete at the office, minimize the Christmas craziness. You can have a wonderful celebration without buying expensive presents or going crazy with the decorations. Online shopping and making items at home with the little ones will get you in the festive spirit without overwhelming you.
Deal with the Financial Stress
Finances and planning the Christmas expenditure can also contribute to stress and reduced productivity. Having a limited budget to dedicate to shopping and partying will make you hesitant about what to do first and whether you’ve chosen the right option.
Once again, if you start with the planning early enough, you will find ways to even save money this Christmas.
Do some research and explore multiple options for acquiring essential items without going overboard with the spending. Worrying about money will lead to a lot of stress, which in turn will result in reduced productivity across the board.
Always talk to family and friends about the plan and make sure everyone is on the same page. If you decide on handmade presents, everybody should accept the idea. You don’t want one family member to come on over with expensive gifts – the discrepancy could potentially destroy everyone’s mood.
Deal with Distractions When It’s Time for Action
Based on the plan, you will need to complete several essentials before the holidays.
Deal with the distractions in order to be productive, successful and fast in the execution of your Christmas plan.
Dedicate a weekend to cleaning the house, decorating and getting in the Christmas spirit. This is the time when you should turn off the TV and forget about the office. Maintaining your focus on the task at hand will result in quicker execution and a higher level of satisfaction with the final outcome.
We live in a world of distractions and digital temptations. Your phone, Facebook and your email could get in the way of executing the Christmas plan. People who lack the will to shut these off should seek a bit of additional assistance.
FocusMe could come in handy during such family crises. FocusMe is a powerful productivity app that can be used to develop a schedule, keep distractions turned off and limit the amount of time you’re spending online. It’s an ideal solution for dealing with distractions at the office and at home, especially when you have a limited amount of time for Christmas planning.
Take Some Time Off
Remember that the holiday season is all about spending quality time with your family. It’s not about the commercial aspects of the holiday or the expectations that others have of you.
Take some time off when it feels that you have to do too much. A bit of relaxation, a focus on your health and your emotional wellbeing will restore your productivity levels and your enjoyment of the holiday.
It’s ok to dedicate a weekend to staying in bed or to a family movie marathon. Christmas will happen even if the house isn’t fully decorated. One of the easiest ways to boost your productivity and to get more done is taking some time off when you feel overwhelmed. This may seem counterintuitive but giving your body a chance to slow down and recover will enhance your focus, physical health and ability to handle a wide array of tasks.
Get Everyone Involved
You already know that the successful execution of office projects necessitates collaboration. The same applies to planning the perfect holiday.
Distribute tasks among family members and learn how to delegate.
Even if you’re the person responsible for most tasks and the holiday planning, you can still get others involved or ask for help. Your significant other, children, parents, siblings and even close friends would love to be included.
When getting other people involved in the process, you have to set clear expectations right from the start. People should know their tasks, the deadline and the importance of communicating with others. A little conversation with everyone can result in clarity, synchronicity and a focus on the same goal.
Christmas doesn’t always happen according to plan and that’s ok. Focus on completing office work so that you have enough time to spend with your family. Know the consequences of a failure and prioritize tasks you can’t postpone or eliminate. Every other Christmas activity is flexible and it can be modified to accommodate for your needs and the amount of available time.
Go back to basics and remember the meaning of Christmas. It’s not the presents, the decorations or the large and loud parties. Make Christmas the celebration you want it to be and don’t stress out over the small things. The sooner you learn these important lessons, the easier it will be to come up with a holiday plan. Merry Christmas!