With continued deadlines being enforced during the holiday season, many people wonder how to manage work during this busy and often stressful time of year. Papers continue to pile up, phones continue to ring and clients still have expectations, even if it is the holiday season. How can you manage your time wisely so that you meet the needs of your friends, family and your boss?
1. Schedule Everything
From your local holiday cookie exchange, your child's holiday school concert and the date of your next deadline, make sure that every occasion has a spot on your calendar or within your planner. Here's the catch: Don't just write it down and forget about it. Make it a habit to check your calendar or planner daily and carry it with you wherever you go. That way, when you run into Aunt Sally at the mall and she asks you to come over for a family get together, you can easily check what is already planned. If you know that you have a work deadline on the same day, it's easy to see and you can either get the work done early or send your regrets for the family party. Many work at home moms find it helpful to write down their work assignments and deadlines on the calendar first and then block the day or time off by using a highlighter.
2. Set Priorities
Is it more important for you to attend Aunt Sally's holiday party or is completing your monthly work assignment a priority? Though it may be hard to toggle between two occasions, it is critical that your work assignments get completed in a timely manner, no later than the scheduled deadline.
3. Don't Over-Schedule Yourself
The fact is simple: You can't be everywhere at once. You can try, but it will not work. Avoid committing yourself to so many obligations that you become stressed, which could lead to you ultimately missing work deadlines or other prior commitments.
4. Avoid Procrastinating
Avoid procrastinating and putting off your work assignments for a later date. Doing so will only cause you to become more behind, leading to additional stress. Stay current on your work so that you will not be rushing to meet scheduled deadlines.
5. Use Down Time Wisely
Do you normally work in the mornings so that your evenings and weekends are free? Or, do you prefer to work in the evening hours when you have additional help with the children? Whatever your work schedule is, make sure that you use down time wisely. Whether you are off in the evenings, mornings or weekends, utilize that time well. The down time provides you with a break to complete other tasks in your life, such as family time, holiday shopping, holiday baking, getting together with friends, etc.
6. Vacation Time
Many work at home moms find it less stressful to schedule in vacation time around the busy holiday season. If at all possible, work a little more during the earlier months of the year leading up the holiday season so that taking a week or two off around the holidays isn't a problem.