Today, Halloween, marks the unofficial start of the holiday season. That time of year where we hope to experience joy, peace, and happiness that instead becomes marred by stress, anxiety and overwhelm.
All that starts today.
Don't believe me?
There are only 61 days left in the year.
There are only 55 days until Christmas.
There are only 28 days until Thanksgiving.
Feeling a tad bit of anxiety yet?
What if I told you there was a way to avoid all the negativity and to instead not only be more productive but absolutely giddy this holiday season?
No, I am not kidding.
I am on a quest this season to turn around our overwhelm and negativity and instead make the last 61 days of the year our best.
Care to join me?
Here are three things you can do TODAY to boost productivity and motivation and keep the chaos out of your holiday season:
1. Make a series of lists. Don't eye-roll... I'm serious! Start with a Master List of everything you can think of that needs to be completed by the end of the year. Make categories for work, family, personal, holidays, etc. and be realistic. It is the holiday season after all. Then date each one: when exactly do those tasks need to be completed? Next, prioritize each task according to due date and importance. Each week refer to your Master List and add only what needs to be done that week to your weekly to-do list and then break it down by what reasonably can get done in a day. Then follow it task by task.
2. Look for ways to be kind. Every time you check off an item on your daily or weekly task list, take 2 minutes to encourage someone else. Go over to that colleague who is rocking her heels today and tell her so. To that cashier who seems to be having a rough day, offer a smile and engage him in conversation. Send a "thinking of you " text to that friend on your mind or an "I love you" to your spouse. Tell your child how proud you are of them. Tell yourself you are absolutely killing it.
My point: looking for ways to be kind in the middle of getting things done motivates us to continue to work. Think about it: how many times have you experienced a jolt of energy just from being nice? Conversely, how does negativity, fear, and focusing on all you haven't done drain you? I'm choosing kindness.
3. Create boundaries around work and non-work time. A third reason that daily list is so valuable is that it creates an opportunity to cross a proverbial finish line. Why is that important? So you can remember you have a life outside of your tasks. You do. Trust me. Prioritize each task, complete them as you can (hence the "need" and "realistic" emphasis from step one), then have some fun in your life. Play. If it's been so long you have no idea how to play or what would even be fun, ask your kids, ask a friend, ask your spouse, but whatever you do, do not keep working simply because you don't know how to have fun, relax, and just be without doing.
These are simple things. You most likely are already doing them. Being intentional about them makes all the difference.
I have set a goal to be focused on working through my daily priorities, looking for ways to show kindness to myself and others all day long, and to have fun each day for the next 61 days. I hope you will join me.
Have a question or comment? Shoot me an email and let's talk! Stephanie@StephanieHaynes.net