The Nice List, The Naughty List & My To Do List?
I am that girl. That girl that is a little too festive around the holidays. From my stubbornness around traditions remaining intact and my refusal to accept anything but a real Christmas tree - Christmas time is my time of year.
Naturally, I spend the better part of my year making sure that I land on Santa’s Nice List. Happy clients -- with visions of brag-worthy media wins and happy investors dancing in their heads -- usually does the trick.
Staying off the Naughty List? Easy. In public relations, we call that the Black List and only an angry journalist can put you there. So rest easy, PR pros - Santa only pays attention to those fantastic headlines you secured.
While I’ve got the Nice List and the Naughty List on lockdown, it’s my To Do list that can be more frightening than any of the three ghosts that haunted Scrooge. If you’re feeling the same and find yourself reaching for the rum and eggnog to calm your nerves, take a deep breath.
It may be a busy time of year and your to do list may seem longer than Santa’s but here are a few things to remember this holiday season to keep focused and tackle your to do’s.
Everyone is in the Same Boat - Or Should We Say Sleigh?
Tip number one? Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, is busy right now. It doesn’t matter what industry they’re in or whether they’re single, married, or have kids. It’s a busy time of year for us all. So next time you’re passing on holiday cocktails or telling others how busy you are - stop and remind yourself that they’re likely just as busy as you in their own right. We all have the same amount of hours in the day. You’re not special.
By reminding yourself that your to do list is one of many being tackled right now, it should relieve some unnecessary pressure and help you better focus on your tasks at hand.
Don’t Always Count On Your Evenings and Weekends
When you love your job, it’s easy to let it flow into your evenings and weekends, and that’s totally cool. Many entrepreneurs work well into the evening and many have revealed they do work on the weekend. To each their own, but remember that this is the time of year to spend quality time with family and friends. Whether it’s hitting the mall for some last minute Christmas shopping with your siblings or doing some holiday baking while watching Elf with a friend who's home for the holidays - be present this time year. Enjoy time with your loved ones and you’ll find yourself even more productive when you return to your desk.
Acknowledge the Holiday Party
Holiday parties, open houses - there are plenty of invitations this time of year to visit friends and colleagues at their respective offices, and surely you’ve invited one or two to stop by yours for treats. And let’s not forget the annual holiday party.
Take into account these festivities when planning your week and assigning your to dos. For example, the morning after the holiday dinner or office party? Probably not the best time to tackle that strategy you’ve been putting off. Schedule it for earlier in the week when you’re at your best.
Give Yourself the Gift of Prioritizing
You don’t need the Ghost of Christmas Future to show you how unproductive you’ll be in the days leading up to Christmas. No one blames you. It’s hard to concentrate when there’s a steady flow of holiday drinks and treats at your fingertips. You’re only human. So how do you stay productive with the sugarplum fairy dancing around you? Prioritize.
“Adequate planning and clearly defining your goals for the holiday season can help alleviate potential dips in productivity,” said Abbas Jessa, director at Wentwood Realty and tax consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers in an interview with Forbes. Know what items MUST get done before you close up shop for Christmas. Still can’t narrow down the list? Stop and ask yourself - will those I’m sending this to actually have time to review before the holidays? In many cases, sending it when you’re back to work in January will be totally acceptable. (And appreciated!)
Take the Time to Celebrate the Season with Your Colleagues
Lastly, while it’s important to make time for family and friends this time of year - it’s also a great time of year to spend some one-on-one time with your colleagues. Plan time to work on collaborative projects as a team while enjoying some holiday treats or listening to Christmas tunes. Offer to help your team wherever you can to ensure that they’re having fun and not buried underneath their to do list.
As Mayank Amin, founder and CEO at PlatinumDreamEvents told Forbes, “When your co-workers feel that they, too, are a part of your family at work, they value that even during the holidays, it’s essential to work towards your goals versus working towards a checkpoint or deadline. “
So this holiday season, you can have your egg nog and drink it too, without getting a lump of coal in your stocking this Christmas. Just remember: focus on the big picture, prioritize, and don’t be a grinch!
How are you spending your holidays? Do you have a great office bash planned? Are you a remote team with some great ideas for gathering to deck the halls? Leave us a comment below!
Photo Credit: Alexandre Duret-Lutz