Quick Tips to Nix Pre-Vacation Stress

As we gear up for the holiday season, and gear down the work year, how is your stress level?

Holidays and vacations are great for our Mental Bandwidth and Mental Health At Work, but they can also lead to a spike in Workload before and after.

Here are two tips to help you minimize that stress and go into your break feeling ready to relax.

1: Don’t schedule meetings the day before a break

This tip is from Laura Vanderkam’s podcast The New Corner Office (if you don’t follow her, I highly recommend - she’s brilliant about making the most out of our time & working remotely).

As she says in her podcast, the meetings right before a break are often moved in the rush to finish things off on the last day. Instead, book the meeting for when you return.

I 100% agree with this.

One of the things that can increase our stress is seeing a lot of things on our calendar, especially when we have a lot of work to complete.

Keeping that last day free of meetings means that you’ll have the whole day to tie up loose ends and put out any last minute fires.

If that check-in is critical, as they sometimes are, book a short 15-20 min call to cover off anything that needs attention.

2: Get really clear on what’s a Must Do and what’s a Nice to Do

You have a zillion things on your To Do list, right? Me too.

With limited days left before your break, you’ll need to pare down and prioritize that list. Pick one top thing for each day, and then mark it in your calendar or To Do list - this is the thing to focus on that day.

If there are more Must Dos than days left, think through how long each will take, and look at how much time you have in your calendar. If you’ve got a day with few meetings, consider doubling-up with two shorter Must Dos.

Also consider if any of these can wait – sometimes, especially at the end of the year, we get REALLY ambitious about what we want to accomplish. Maybe some things can move to the Nice To Do list. These are things you can work on if you have spare time, but if they get pushed off til the New Year, it’ll be ok.

My own Must Do list has seven items for five days - I’ve got three today, two Friday, and one each for Monday through Wednesday. I’ve also got six things on my Nice To Do list – as much as I’d love to do these things, if I don’t have time, they can totally wait until January.

How about you? What are your tips for getting ready for the holidays? Send me a note to let me know.

PS Is fighting stress & burnout and building resilience on your 2021 Resolution list? I’m here to help with your Burnout Prevention Plan and Building Resilience Through Crisis. Book a Call to learn more.

PPS For on-demand stress support, check out Swamped to Serene. This on-demand workshop includes practical tips to manage your stress response, as well as tools to identify and minimize your stressors. Buy it here.

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