With the holidays fast approaching, thoughts turn to work-life balance more so than any other time of year. If you are like many of us, you must keep up with your work responsibilities while fitting much more into your personal life. This can get crazy stressful if you let it, especially if your home is also your workplace. Whether you are a work at home mom, small business owner, or employee, here are some tips for balancing life, and avoiding or reducing stress this holiday season.
1. Accept that life is an eternal work in progress.
It is not supposed to be all done. This goes for life in general, but especially around the holidays. Let go of perfectionism and the need to do everything on your lists. Each day, take a breather to reflect on your accomplishments and feel proud.
2. Know when you have done enough.
Many of us are overachievers when it comes to holiday preparation, household chores, work responsibilities, or all three. Ease up on yourself this year and use the added time to celebrate or relax. Working two hours late at the office is not REALLY necessary; family and friends will do fine with smaller tins of fresh-baked cookies; it’s OK if your floors are less than pristine.
3. Share the workload.
Rethink your tendency to do everything for everyone. Be creative in thinking how routine tasks can be completed differently. The drudgery of housework can become quality family time, for example. A woman recently shared how proud her son was to do his first load of laundry, start to finish.
4. Understand what activities are important to you.
December can become so crowded with activities it is easy to become overwhelmed. The solution is to prioritize according to what’s important to YOU. If seeing your daughter’s school play is what matters most on a particular day, then put that ahead of all else. Most other responsibilities can wait until another day.
5. Focus on gratitude.
Instead of obsessing over what needs to be done, be grateful for what you already have. When you consciously express positive and emotional appreciation, you attract more feelings of contentment and peacefulness. This will create positive change in both your personal and work life.
6. Consciously direct your reactions.
Happiness is a choice. Finding the positive–delight, excitement, and contentment–in everything you do will change the outcome of each day. Work tasks, for example, will go by quicker and you will be in a more lighthearted mood afterward.
7. Organize your whole life, not just work, with a holistic planner.
Buy a planner that includes other aspects of your life besides work. Home, health, and spirit/soul are all critical for your complete happiness. By using a day planner that recognizes this, you allow yourself to better enjoy both work and personal life.
Take these tips to heart and you will be better equipped to live each day to its fullest, even through the hustle and bustle of December!
Recommended Books on Balancing Life and Work:
- The One Minute Manager Balances Work and Life
- The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work-Life Success
- Stop Living Your Job, Start Living Your Life: 85 Simple Strategies to Achieve Work/Life Balance
- On the Fly Guide to…Balancing Work and Life
- Balancing Your Life: Executive Lessons for Work, Family and Self
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