The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. Between family obligations, work deadlines, and the never-ending parade of social events, it’s hard to stay on top of everything. This year we have some added complexities with Mr Omicron coming to stay. Luckily, there are some strategies you can employ to make this season less stressful, these have worked well for us over the years. Join me as I show you how to survive the holidays with an Agile Christmas strategy that will help you beat stress and accomplish more this season.
Here at Twenty2 we've had a big 2021, 598 Learning journeys, 4 updates to our High Performance Insights based on huge interest in the data, multiple teams established or uplifted and significant value realised for our customers. A 10% increase in customer feedback really tops off the christmas cake!
How to Beat Holiday Stress
The holidays can be stressful for a number of reasons. You may be struggling to balance work and family obligations, which can lead to that end of year drain. You might also be juggling holiday events with friends, relatives, and coworkers – which means the classic overcommitting after what has already been a big year.
No matter the reason, it’s important that you do something about your stress level before you end up with a nasty case of burnout. We recognise this happening in individuals the same way we see it in teams and organisations Here are some strategies we use with teams that will help you personally beat holiday stress so you can enjoy the season without breaking down:
* Focus on what's meaningful to you - Always have a vision and some guiding principles for what Christmas should mean to you
* Schedule time for self-care - We love talking about the Google 20% rule for teams, what's your 20%?
* Make a list of your top priorities and make them visible, just like in a team. I know cooking ham is a higher priority than watching Home Alone.
* Ask for help from friends and family - High Performance happens with High Awareness, form a team and collaborate towards your ultimate Christmas
* Start now! - That Turkey is not going to cook itself!
Get Organized with a visual plan
Since it’s so easy to get overwhelmed this time of year, the first step in your survival plan should include getting organized. You don’t have to feel overwhelmed with all that you have to do this season. With an Agile Christmas strategy, you can break down everything on your plate into smaller pieces and tackle them one at a time.
To start, create a visual list of everything on your plate during the holiday season. Use sticky notes or index cards to represent each task with a different color for each one. Then make an action plan for each task with due dates for when you want it completed by. This will help you stay on track and not let any tasks fall through the cracks.
Avoid Overcommitting by measuring your capacity
One way that the holidays can cause stress is by overcommitting to things, like attending too many different parties. It can be difficult to know how much we can commit to and still maintain a healthy balance between obligations and personal time.
So, how do we know what we can realistically accomplish during the holiday season? Well, there are three factors to consider:
- Your available time – What commitments do you already have for this season? How much free time will you have?
- Your available energy – Are you feeling energized or drained on any given day? Are you taking care of yourself?
- Your available space – Is your home or work environment conducive for completing these tasks?
Once you’ve taken into consideration these three factors, it should be easier to commit less or turn down an invitation. With some preparation up front, it’s possible to avoid overcommitting during the busy holiday season!
Be Flexible and open to change
The holiday season is one of the most hectic times of the year, so it’s important to be flexible and open to change. We all have the tendency to get into “autopilot mode” when it comes to our daily routines during this time of year. But if you want to avoid burnout, you need to make sure that you are changing your routine often.
This doesn’t mean that you need to take on more work or avoid spending time with your loved ones, but instead make sure you are doing something for yourself everyday. For example, try taking a break from your social media feed by switching over to an app like Pinterest instead. In High Performing teams we recognise we are in a complex environment and need to be open to change. I can't think of a Christmas holiday that has not brought complexity, the more open I am to change the easier it is to have fun.
Make Your Own Fun and celebrate success
Mindfulness and self-care are two of the most important things you can do to survive the holidays. Take care of yourself and don't forget to take time every day for something that makes you happy. For me I'm going to spend quality time with the kids and practicing my drawing and reading.
It's also important to celebrate your successes. Make a list of all the things you accomplished this year and hang it somewhere where you'll see it often. This will remind you how far you've come and help motivate you in this stressful season. If you need help in reflections for the year reach out for our Sailboat template to help.