"A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work” - John Lubbock
Xmas for many workers is the start of the holiday period. Are you looking forward to the break or is your head mired in all the work that needs to be completed before Xmas? Besides work, there might be gifts to buy, functions to attend, a holiday to organise and so on. That sinking feeling of having too much to do could be a case of Déjà vu. But you soldier on convinced you’ll be more organised next year. The reality is you won’t unless you take specific action to break the cycle.
If you feel like this then take some comfort that you’re not alone. A massive To Do list, when combined with family commitments and the Xmas rush makes December one of the more stressful months of the year for 42% of the population (Source: Metlife). After a busy year we’re often feeling worn out, however, we have a choice whether we:
- Pass the time counting down the days until Xmas
- Use the time to catch-up
- Take the opportunity get ahead
If you haven’t done so already, it’s timely to determine what do you need to:
- Start doing – what have you been putting off or just simply avoiding?
- Keep doing – what will set yourself up for next year if you continue to persevere?
- Finish doing – what are the absolute Must Do’s before Xmas?
To maximise the time before Xmas it’s important not to procrastinate, let others overload you just because they’re disorganised or convince ourselves it will be alright after Xmas. On the flipside, we need to prioritise well, manage expectations and clear the backlog of outstanding work as much as possible.
Having a break is important to be able to switch off, recharge and rest. However, it’s hard to do so if we leave a huge backlog of unfinished work. Also, leaving work in a mess will cause us to start work in a mess when we return.
Breaking the cycle
Now’s the time to invest in yourself. Maximise your productivity to get an edge, finish off the year strong and set yourself up for success from Day 1 next year. If you don’t know how to do this yourself then get a coach or a mentor to help.
Whilst another initiative might seem like the last thing you need right now, it’s important to take control by deciding and acting before the end of the year. Having a proactive plan in place to address the situation will also reduce worry and result in you relaxing more over the break.
Worker stress doesn’t need to be at it’s highest leading into Xmas. Instead, maximise your productivity and you'll minimise your stress.