The spirit of the holiday season beckons us to pause, reconnect with our loved ones, and reflect on the year. The benefits of downtime are many: time with family and friends, space to think and rest, renewed energy, a fresh outlook, and more.
To be sure you can enjoy this special time of year, here are eight steps to take now to clear the way for a wonderful holiday break and fresh start for the new year ahead.
Close All Open Loops
At work, at home, and anywhere else you’ve got obligations and responsibilities, begin to check items off of your lists. Now’s the time to forego unnecessary meetings, put your head down, and get the work done. Consider whether items can be delegated, rescheduled, renegotiated, or removed from your list altogether. Aim to wrap up projects, deliver those deliverables, and be able to close up shop for your holiday break.
Get Your Inbox to Zero
Voicemail, an office inbox, and, of course, email should all be cleared and closed out before you head out on a holiday break. Minimize the incoming messages while you’re celebrating by putting in place out of office response messages wherever possible—both on work accounts and personal accounts.
Set Up a Guide for Reentry
For additional peace of mind, create a list of the important things you’ll want to tackle after the holidays to consult in the new year. Simply writing ideas down can be just what the brain needs to be able to forget about them for a while.
Before the holidays are in full swing is an ideal time to sort, purge, and clean up your spaces. Make room for the holiday cheer and set yourself up to a tidy start to the new year.
Organize Your Finances
Budgeting your holiday spending and closing out your finances at the end of the year are two important steps to relieve potential post-holiday headaches. Get organized and on track.
Schedule Fun and RSVP
Don’t miss those events you and your family most enjoy. Perhaps your city’s Christmas tree lighting, an annual get-together, a favorite holiday movie night, or a vacation getaway are on your list of top priorities.
On the other side of that coin, relieve yourself the burden of unanswered invitations by responding swiftly to all that come your way. Get good at saying no and avoid overloading your calendar.
Over the holiday break, aim to detach yourself from your digital devices as much as possible and stay present in the real world around you. It may be the most challenging of these steps, but it will also be the most rewarding.
Review and Reflect
Make sure you can enjoy some time to reflect upon the year that has passed and look ahead to the year forthcoming. Remind yourself of all that you have to be grateful for.
Wishing you a happy holiday season!