The festive season is typically our busiest time of year - in spite of it being seen as a time for relaxation.
Whether it’s your personal or professional diary that is continuing to fill up (usually both) it’s important to not overwork and overstress yourself in the run up to the Christmas season.
We recommend the below tips and tricks for ensuring your time management and calendar doesn’t get blown out of control as you start to arrange Christmas parties, office festive drinks and pre-Christmas catch-up meetings with clients.
Tips & Tricks for Managing Your Time Effectively Over Christmas
- Submit holiday and flexi-working requests ahead of December.
- Schedule important meetings and workloads ahead of time.
- Block out your calendar for personal commitments, shopping, plays and nativities, etc.
- Set a daily and/or weekly task list to ensure that you’re fulfilling the most important duties each week - and recognising which tasks are less important with your limited time.
- Mark out time in your work diary each day for time-consuming activities, i..e checking emails, attending meetings.
- Commit to only being available for a certain number of hours for meetings each week - meetings can be the biggest drain on time in a company, particularly for middle and senior management.
- Include a reward for sticking to your daily task list - even if it’s just a walk around the office or treating yourself to the sweet treats that inevitably appear in the staff room every December!
- Reschedule any tasks you’ve missed with a reasonable end date, without beating yourself up if you’ve missed 1 or 2 activities.
- Ask for support and share tasks amongst your department, wherever possible, to make sure you all help each other have reduced stress over the festive period.
- Finish organised! Spend five minutes before you leave tying up loose ends, washing your mug and tidying your desk - it’s amazing how it can help the next day.
- Start early! One of the best tips can be to come in slightly early to set up your task list for the day, grab a cuppa and clear your inbox.
If you’re ‘up against the clock’ and don’t have the time to get involved in the festivities that your team may be participating in this month, just say you wish you could get involved but you’re super busy. They’ll appreciate your workload and won’t look at you like a humbug, creating additional unnecessary stress, if you’re polite in your apology for not getting involved. Hey, they may even offer to take some of the pressure so you can enjoy their festivities!
Finally, apply your professionally-organised mindset to your personal life. At Christmas the idea of managing our finances, buying presents and generally “having it together” can overwhelm our work lives so it’s important to address these issues at home, and organise your duties and tasks, to keep them out of your mind at work.