This Holiday Season:
Find Balance In All Things
A little balance goes a long way...
especially during the holidays.
People all over the world are celebrating important holidays this time of year. We want to slow down, spend time with our loved ones, and focus on what matters most in our lives. We all reference "peace" when we talk about our holiday wishes for each other. Sometimes peace is a little hard to find as the holidays draw near.
It's pretty common for us to run around like crazy preparing for our "peaceful" holidays. We race to get everything just right, and then try to be peaceful at the very last minute. Holiday preparations can be crushing. We have things to do, people to see, gifts to buy. We have work to finish, meetings to wrap up, vacation days to schedule. For some, vacation isn't possible. Work and play have to co-exist during the holidays.
As you race to get everything done this holiday season - the essential and the trivial - do yourself a favor. Give yourself the gift of balance. The more balance you have this holiday season, the more peace you'll find. The more peace you find, the more joy you'll feel. Guaranteed.
Here are three easy ways to find more balance - and peace - this holiday season.
Balance In All Things
It's not easy to avoid holiday stress while balancing work and life outside of work. It's a lot easier if you do these three things.
1. Edit yourself.
What's competing for your time? Is your list of what you want to do, and think you need to do, ridiculously long? One of the best ways to keep your sanity over the holidays is to edit yourself. You do that by defining what really needs to be done. This is no time for perfection. This is time for balance. If it can wait, let it. Tell whoever you have to tell, and then cross it off your list. Be merciless with your commitment to avoid doing anything that isn't essential, unless it's something you want to do. Even then, challenge yourself as to what really matters most. This applies to work and play.
2. Eliminate vampires.
If you're feeling pressure to get things done, start by eliminating vampires - people and activities that waste time. Sometimes we do things that waste time on purpose. (TV? Facebook?) That's completely normal. During the holidays, though, what normally feels like an indulgence can actually bring more stress than relief. You almost can't even enjoy it. Start with just one time-waster. Cut back on how much time you spend, and then enjoy every single minute of it. On the flip side, every minute you gain by cutting back... is found time.
As for people who are vampires, anyone who consistently drains your time or energy, without you getting something meaningful in return, needs to take a back seat during the holidays. You can't always avoid vampires, but you can put hard limits on how much time or energy you give. Make a conscious decision and stick to it. Don't let a vampire steal your time or energy, even if it's a family member. Once you get good at this, you may never go back. That's a bonus. (For more on work-life balance, and vampires specifically, read this article.)
3. Focus on only one.
If you're like most people, you probably think multi-tasking is the answer when you have too much on your plate. It's not true. Multi-tasking serves a purpose, but it only serves you well when stuff doesn't particularly matter. During the holidays, almost everything matters, including a solid wrap-up on work for the year and all of the extra interactions you'll have because of the holidays. When the stakes are high, you're better off giving something (or someone) your full attention. Whenever you can, focus on only one thing at a time. You may find you're actually more productive and you'll absolutely be more peaceful.
Finding balance is always challenging. We're pulled in so many directions, and never more so than during the holidays. If we keep our eye on the prize, we remember that peace is what the holiday season is all about. Only when we find our way to peace will all the rest of the goodness kick in. Peace requires balance. How do you find balance?
Figure out what's competing for your time and do only what really has to be done or what you really want to do. Delay or defer the rest until after the holidays. Intentionally avoid people and activities that waste time or energy. Give the rest of (and the best of) the people and activities in your life your full attention.
Find balance. Find peace.
Wishing you a balanced, and very peaceful, holiday.