With the holidays approaching, you might feel overwhelmed about everything you have to do. The trick, experts say, is careful planning and prioritization. Here’s how.
• Work backward. Cali Yost of Flex+Strategy Group recommends starting at the end of the holiday season and working backward to identify time you want to have off and deadlines at work. Add in time for shopping, food preparation, decorating and seeing friends.
• Schedule downtime. Put your relaxation hours on the schedule and treat them as seriously as any other appointment.
• Consider all your invitations and responsibilities. Look at events and identify which have the most flexibility, says Megan Bearce, author of Super Commuter Couples: Staying Together When A Job Keeps You Apart. Then, check with your boss and determine which projects can be delayed until the new year. Compare the two and map out your holiday time.
• If you’re off, stay off. Set up an auto-reply on your last day before vacation and sign off for the duration. If your work really requires you to check in during time off, set aside 10 minutes twice a day.
• Manage everyone’s expectations. Ask yourself what matters most to you, and prioritize it, Yost says. For example, if throwing a big holiday open house is a meaningful way for you to celebrate, put your resources into doing it right—but then cut back elsewhere. This may mean sending invitations via email, drawing names to avoid buying presents for everyone, or decorating only one room instead of the whole house.