Many people are approaching the end of 2021 with a sense that a New Normal may be emerging. Kids are back in school, families are gathering again, and businesses are settling into new telework and remote work patterns. At the same time, many are experiencing stress and challenges at work in managing supply chain challenges, and customers are finding that holiday shopping costs more and takes more time.
Let’s look at some ways to manage your time through the holidays:
- Negotiate New Traditions: With all the change over the past few years, many families are just happy to see each other again. This provides a good opportunity to reset expectations that can support time management. Maybe it’s time to talk about stepping away from gift giving – like agreeing to bake cookies together as a group gift, rather than searching for yet another kitchen gadget. “Let’s try something new this year…” is a great way to start the conversation.
- Map out the Month: Take a look at the calendar and realistically list your goals, both at work and home. Decide now what you can defer to January, what projects you may be able to scale down and where you need to manage expectations with clients, families, or families in advance.
- Talk about Time: At work, it’s easy for teams to build on each other’s momentum, leading to an unsustainable pace as everyone tries to keep up with each other. Find ways to gently put on the brakes, by talking openly about time management challenges, holiday coverage and work-life balance needs. If you talk about this in terms of mutual support and managing customer expectations, it is likely to be well received by managers and team members alike.
- Acknowledge the Difference: Let’s face it – everyone knows that December is different from most months. While not everyone celebrates Christmas, the trees, lights, end-of-year parties and gifts say that this is not a “business as usual” time. Acknowledge it, be willing to break your own patterns and be gracious to others – acknowledging that the month is an unusual time opens the opportunity to talk about time management choices differently.
The end of the year is a unique time when the regular rules of time management are harder to apply. Use this to your advantage to talk about new approaches!