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For those of us who are workaholics, now is the best time to set boundaries. The holiday season can be so stressful. Most likely, you are worrying about holiday shoppers, traffic, the gifts you still need to buy and travel arrangements to Grandma’s house. You are also stressing about year end projects and deadlines, budget cuts in the new year, goal setting and so much more. I for one would rather burry my head in paperwork and just ignore the holidays all together. Right?
Wrong! Family and friends are your support group and it is important to set time aside for them. Use the holidays to create a plan and implement it.
A few tips:
If your schedule is 8am-5pm, but you usually leave around 7pm, then leave at 5pm. Compromise if you need to and leave at 6pm instead. Sometimes, the work will just have to wait until tomorrow. Plus, stepping away from what you are working on can give you a fresh look at the project. Let your co-workers know when and how to get ahold of you during specific times and stick to it. It is to easy for us to get caught up in our work and we forget what time it is, so set an alarm on your calendar or phone to remind you to leave.
Make a list of what is truly important to you and a list of what you can pass off to someone else. You might be surprised to find that a lot of the work you do, is because there was no one else to do it. Or you might find that what made sense to do 6 months ago, does not make sense anymore and it can come off your plate. Evaluate your priorities and make cuts where needed.
If you set aside time to complete tasks and its time to go home, turn off your cell phone. You should have specifically provided times you will be available by phone and email, so if its outside that window, turn it off. You wont be tempted to answer any calls, check your voice mail or your email if its off.
If you really must work, work remotely. A change of pace can do wonders for you. Not saying that you wont be distracted, but spend a few hours working from home or at a coffee shop. The break from the hustle and bustle will help clear your mind so when you get back to work, you will feel refreshed. Still set limits as to how much you are working. You can just as easily work a 10 hour day at a coffee shop, assuming they are open, as you can at the office.
Think of it as your New Year’s resolution that you will continue day after day and month after month. You will feel better to get a break from work and your family will love that your home in time for dinner.
“The world is full of willing people, some willing to work, the rest willing to let them.” –Robert Frost