The holidays are right around the corner. Thanksgiving is less than a week away, and the winter holidays will be here before we know it. Although it happens every year and we’re all aware it’s coming, for some reason we still seem to stress ourselves out and wear ourselves thin. The weather takes a turn for the worse (depending on your feelings toward snow), shopping is at an all-time high and having to worry about guests and dinner, on top of your day-to-day routine can be overwhelming. So with everything going on as the holidays roll in, how can you stay motivated? Here are five simple tips for beating the end of the year blues and getting over the holiday hump.
- Plan Ahead and Write it Down: Remembering a few things; simple. Remembering those few things plus a few more can become risky, so make sure to write everything down. Digital calendars like Outlook and Google can sync together, meaning if you add an item to one it will be automatically added to the others. This is a great solution for the technologically savvy so use it to your advantage! I personally still have a back-up and take a paper planner everywhere. This way I have my list in at least two spots, making it nearly impossible to forget. It also allows me to manage my work calendar, personal tasks and beat feeling stressed with holiday shopping, cooking, and travel.
- Go to Sleep Earlier: We just gained an hour of sleep, how awesome! But that also means arriving to work and leaving in the dark, which can decrease your motivation. Make sleep a priority. Even though you gained an hour, your body will adjust and going to bed at midnight won’t benefit your proactivity. It’s recommended for adults to get a good seven hours of sleep. If seven isn’t doable, shoot for six and a half. Put the phone on silent, enjoy a book in bed and let your body relax and wind down. A good night’s sleep can mean a better tomorrow.
- Give Yourself Extra Time: The snow will be coming soon for some of us, along with icy roads, cautious drivers and other unexpected obstacles. Give yourself an extra 10 to 15 minutes in the morning so you’re not starting your day in a panic to get to work on time. You can use this extra time to warm your car and adjust accordingly to the driving conditions. Nothing is better than starting your day on the right foot.
- Exercise: Exercise can be hard even without the holidays. So how can you make it happen when the holidays are here? Schedule it on your calendar. The weather restricts your ability for a casual run outside, but consider joining an inexpensive gym to get you through the winter months. Look for an upbeat 30 minute class after work or something you can squeeze in during your lunch break. Exercise can help clear your mind and a clear mind can increase your focus during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
- Focus on the Task at Hand: This is something I have been wrestling with for years, but focusing on one task at a time can really make a difference. I suggest making a list for the day. I like to categorize tasks by importance and include a separate list for work related items and another for personal tasks like holiday shopping, cleaning and errands. I only focus on work tasks during the workday. Occasionally if time permits I include a few personal errands on my lunch hour, but as soon as I return, I only focus on work tasks. Once the end of the day rolls around, I check my personal list and try to get as much done without feeling overwhelmed. Each task gets my full focus. It’s not a perfect system and not every day goes as planned, but it’s a good way to stay organized and get things accomplished while eliminating stress.