What Is Your Holiday Destination?

Our productivity seldom drops as drastically as it does from Halloween to New Year’s. Holiday planning distracts us from our work, the endless preparations put us under pressure and the actual festivities exhaust us. Then, as we battle mid-winter illness with our resistance already sapped, the recovery period darn near kills us!

All the more reason to act now to make sure that this holiday season kindles positive feelings in you and leaves you with good things to celebrate throughout the coming year.

Do you want to feel peace of mind while doing your holiday dance? That calls for organizing to keep on top of work and personal obligations through skillful use of your time and energy.

Do you want to enter the New Year with a sense that you are ahead of where you are today in some area of your work or life? Then map out appropriate measures of progress and the steps you must take by December 31 to meet them.

Do you want to inspire and share a spirit of community with the people around you at the holidays? Plan to express togetherness in ways that don’t actually distance you emotionally. For example, we often think that to show we care about someone means hunting for the “perfect” gift. If the search leaves you tired and cranky, however, you won’t feel or act very giving. Simply sharing a hot chocolate and a chat with a co-worker might be more satisfying for you both.

“A stitch in time saves nine,” says the adage, and studies say that for each hour spent thoughtfully planning a big project, you save up to 70 hours in carrying it out. How’s that for an incentive to take a strategic approach to the “project” of getting through this holiday season?

At work:

o Factor the “holiday slowdown” into estimates of what you will be able to get done, how long it will take and what extra resources you may need to do it.

o Your boss, co-workers or staff may schedule holiday vacations or personal days; check if you will have to fill in for them, and adjust your workload and deadlines accordingly.

o Ask if you and your co-workers may plan holiday-period assignments and projects together, so that responsibilities and time demands are shared fairly.

In your personal life:

o Work out your holiday strategy in company. Invite friends or family members to join you and develop their own plans at the same time. The job will go faster, it will seem like play and there will be people you know and like to ask for advice or ideas.

o Outline your plan with multi-colored pens on poster board or an over-size sheet of paper and hang it where you can see it every day.

o If you’re computer-minded, lay out your plan in a spreadsheet. If you’re good at crafts, compile it in a festive homemade notebook.

Whether you intend it for work or home, remember that your strategy needs to answer these key questions:

1. How would I like to feel this holiday season?

2. What satisfactions would I like to have?

3. What must I do to reach these goals?

“You get what you focus on,” says a newer adage known to some of us as the Law of Attraction. As you concentrate and plan how to get what you want out of the coming holidays, you will summon up the circumstances that will ensure that your wishes come true.

Can you possibly imagine a greater gift?

Download a PDF of this column