Your Holiday To Do List: Shift from Overachievement to Enjoyment

Many of us struggle with work-life balance throughout the year, but it’s during the holidays when the tension between our personal and professional lives can be the most intense. Combine that with an idealistic picture of what the holidays should look like, and your to-do list can become unwieldy.

Getting back in touch with how you want to feel during the holiday season can help you shorten your list and fill it with things that are truly important to you. Re-do your holiday to-do list using these four steps:

  1. List everything you want to have completed personally and professionally by December 31st. Everything.
  2. Then stand back and ask, “How do I want to feel personally and professionally on December 31st?”
  3. Go back through your list and highlight the to-do’s that are going to make you feel at least one of these feelings.
  4. Write a new list of just the highlighted items. You can tackle the rest in the New Year.

You may have some to-dos that you feel like have to happen because there will a financial or contractual consequence if you don’t. Choose 1-3 of these to be completed by the end of the year and add them to your list. Anything that won’t have a financial or contractual impact can wait until after the holidays.

Now your list should look more manageable, but does it feel doable? If the answer is no, you need to reduce the scope of your to-dos so they take less time. For example, let’s say you’ve decided to make hand-crafted gifts for 12 people that are going to take two hours each. It’s an awesome idea, but it’s going to take a lot of time. Brainstorm other ways to show your love that are less time-consuming.

We often have more flexibility around scheduling then we realize. Our drive to achieve can blind us to the possibility that we can do more than just survive the holidays, we can enjoy them.

Try this:

  • Lead your team through this to-do list-making exercise.
  • Model doing what is required to the best of your ability and then spending the holidays with friends and family, so your staff feels like they have permission to do the same.
  • Let me know how it goes in the comments below, on Facebook, LinkedIn, or by email.

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Onward and keep tapping your talent,

Cindy

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