The end of the year is the time when we most need to recharge, but it is also the busiest period for most people.
Whether you are employed, managing your own business or doing both, there is always the pressure to close out on matters that have slipped through the cracks during the year, as well as close your performance on a high note.
Over the last week or so, I have observed people trying to fit thirty hours into 24-hour days so as to manage to close down for the holidays guilt- and stress-free.
If left unchecked, it is easy to burn out and start the new year in an even worse state. So, how do you balance your professional obligations and cultivate the right frame of mind to be on holiday when you do go on holiday?
Just like on any normal day, do not expect to get superhuman powers just before you shut down for the holidays.
You will not tick off all the 20 items on your To Do list. Prioritise based on what will have a negative ripple effect if left undone, what will interfere with your business while you’re away and what can wait until the new year.
Separate the urgent from the important. If possible, confer with your supervisor on your progress so that s/he is in the loop and there are no unpleasant surprises over your days away from the office.
In many offices, only skeleton staff is available on a cyclic basis over the holidays. Ensure that you have set the out-of-office email replies for the specific times, referring to members of your team who will be in and discuss it amongst yourselves.
Similarly, pick up the slack for your team members when you are the designated place-holder. Where possible, delegate matters that do not need your direct attention.
Being a thousand miles away from the office does not help you if you’re constantly stressed about work.
Learn to let go of the things you cannot control, and do something about those you can, but by all means make a concerted effort not to worry about things outside your control.