(Thanks to Grace Marshall for this Wonderfully-timed guest post!)
Christmas is a busy time of the year, there’s no doubt about it.
From trying to wrap up all your work as well as the presents beforehand, to managing all the food, family and festivities over the holiday period, will you come back to work needing a holiday? Here are 7 quick tips to help you switch off and recharge:
1. Social media blackout
Take a Twitter time out or Facebook fast. A change is as good as a rest right? So give yourself a break from being constantly digitally connected. A break can be a couple of hours, a couple of days or a couple of weeks. If you suspect you might be a little bit more than ‘connected’ and leaning towards ‘addicted’ you might want to make a change that slightly outside your comfort zone – like this one I did earlier this year.
2. Set your email out of office
Here’s one spotted by one of my Think Productive colleagues:
“Thanks for your email! I’m travelling Dec 17 through 23rd with limited access to email. (Ok, if you MUST know, I’m a secret Santa’s Elf. I will be gluing sparkles and test driving remote controlled airplanes in preparation for the big day.
Just kidding. (but wishing. That would be fun).”
We’ve all got better things to be doing than wondering if someone got your email, or worrying that someone’s wondering if you got their email. Give yourself and your contacts that assurance that yes their email has arrived, and when you’re likely to respond. Set clear expectations for when normal service will return.
3. Brain dump
Everything you’ve yet to do or think about. Stuff that’s not finished, stuff that’s not started, things you need to follow up on, bits of information you’ve collected over the past week and need to process, nagging thoughts and brilliant ideas – write it all down, brain dump it, then leave it.
Go to your diary, block out 1-2 hours first thing on the day you return, and use that time to make sense of it, organise, plan, prioritise etc.
4. Do your weekly review now
Before you switch off. Stop working. Get yourself up to speed with where all your projects and tasks are, plan your priorities for the first day back – leaving plenty of margin for the unexpected that might crop up between now and then – so that you can switch off, knowing that when you’re back you can hit the ground running.
And when you’re on holiday
5. Go out, leave your phone
…on silent / in your bag / in the car / at home. It’s amazing how naked this can feel at first. And how creative your imagination can be at conjuring disaster scenarios of what you might miss, which usually turns out to be a bit of an anti-climax when you come back to it.
6. Leave your phone on charge downstairs
…at night, rather than by the bed. It’s not like you need an alarm during the holidays anyway, right? Enjoy those morning moments of waking up to your own thoughts and company, rather than to someone else’s news. Same goes for a radio alarm, if you normally wake up to the news or traffic reports. Switch it off – you’re on holiday!
7. Make plans
Get the family together and gather ideas of what you want to do, could do and might do during the holidays. My kids love getting a big sheet of paper onto the kitchen table, with a load of coloured pens for everyone to write and draw their ideas.
Give yourself plenty of choice – indoor and outdoor activities, active, relaxed – so you can pick and choose to suit your mood. Get everyone into the habit of coming up with ideas to make their own fun instead of waiting for something to happen.
What do you think? What tips would you add? I’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below!
Many thanks to our guest author today,
Grace Marshall is head coach and chief encourager at Grace-Marshall.com and author of the Amazon UK bestselling 21 Ways to Manage the Stuff That Sucks Up Your Time. She is also a Productivity Ninja with Think Productive a company that runs time management workshops with a difference, and loves helping busy people get more done with less stress and more fun