I’m not going to mention how many days it is until Christmas because I hate it when people do that. I’d much rather remain ignorant and pretend the year isn’t moving along at quite such the break-neck speed it is. However, given that it is mere weeks away and silly season is certainly kicking in (today on a five minute drive from my house to my sister’s place I had three people pull out in front of me – a sure sign of the silliness), it’s a mighty fine time to get on the front foot at work and home so you can experience a less insane, and possibly even quite civilised tail end to the year.
Whatever you feel about the impending holiday season, how you arrive there can make a real difference to how you enjoy it. We can either arrive dragging ourselves over the finish line of the year, scraped and exhausted like some kind of desert marathon runner, or arrive intact and calm, perhaps feeling ready for a holiday but also feeling okay and satisfied with what we’ve done.
Here are some quick tips to help you not only survive the lead up to Christmas, but to also arrive with perhaps a little more aplomb (and energy) –
Get real about what REALLY needs to be done
I marvel every year at how (in New Zealand at least) everybody decides that everything needs to be completed by Christmas – that project needs to be finished, the book published, the marketing plan finalised, the Board manifesto rewritten, the company manual overhauled, etc etc etc. Of course some things do need to be done by then – like customer orders for Christmas and so on. But many things are only ‘due by the 24th’ because someone decided they should be. And then we become a slave to the deadline – whether we set it or someone else did.
So, sit back for a few minutes this week and re-check: What really needs to be done by the end of this working year?
Respect the 60 Second Rule
Related to the previous tip, the 60-Second Rule states: regardless of how organised, efficient and competent someone is, only 60 seconds of activity can be carried out in 60 seconds. That means 60 minutes of activity can be carried out in 60 minutes, one day of activity carried out in one day. You can only do so much with the time you have, it’s a fact.
So, when someone asks you to take on X project before Christmas and you are already maxed out, a very handy line to have in your back pocket is – “No problem, I also have the Z project on the go, and I could certainly do one of them in that timeframe – which one would you like me to do?” Don’t be afraid to put it back on the project leader or the person you report to, to make the call.
Make getting together easier
This is often the season for catching up for Christmas drinks with old colleagues or friends, etc (again – why in the two weeks before Christmas, pray tell?!!) so if you really must go with the tide and try to fit it all in before Noël, then why not combine catch-ups with a few people and meet them all at once. It’s a nice way for friends to meet other friends, and you only have to find one evening in your diary for it, not four evenings.
Conversely, if you’re feeling run down and low energy, getting together with one person at a time is less taxing and more of a chance for quality time.
Combine get-togethers with exercise – a personal favourite of mine – arrange to go walking or running with someone, a squash game, or whatever you both enjoy.
Take stock of your achievements – celebrate
My biggest wish for you these holidays (apart from ensuring you claim space and time for your rest and replenishment) is that you complete the year feeling aware of all that you’ve accomplished and contributed, and to know that regardless of what else might still be there to do – next year – that you deserve and can enjoy some time off, play and rest.
So, I beg you, please take ten minutes over a cup of tea or a glass of wine sometime BEFORE Christmas, to log in your notebook or on a random hunk of paper – What you’ve achieved this year – big and small – and what you’re most pleased with or proud of.
Take these few minutes to really feel the satisfaction and acknowledgement of all that you’ve done. Once written down, soak it up for a few moments, looking over it and really feeling how much has been done and what you brought to those situations, tasks and activities.
And if you want to take it a little deeper, check out the Summer Revolution Life Review Kit for a thorough review of your year, and your intentions for the year ahead. It’s a free download right here.
Here’s to arriving at holiday time intact, happy and ready to enjoy your holidays.