Achieving a healthy work-life balance during the holidays is more difficult than ever. If you are feeling the strain of strategizing on next year’s initiatives, wrapping up Q4 and preparing for family dinners, gift-buying and event planning (during a pandemic), you aren’t alone. In fact, 60 percent of U.S. employees feel like their work-life balance is out of whack. Many professionals struggle with managing their work and personal lives, but add in the holiday season, and things can get messy.
One culprit? Work hours in a remote environment. Since the onset of the pandemic, normal business hours have ceased to exist. In its place are professionals working around their family schedules. And yes, these uncertain times have undoubtedly showed us that work-life balance is essential to our mental and physical health.
With leaders worrying about their own work-life balance and considering the mental health of their teams, the hustle and bustle of the holidays can throw a wrench into even the best laid plans. The bottom line is it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and bogged down, but it doesn’t have to be this way. Follow our tips for keeping up a positive work-life balance during the holidays to carry you right through the New Year.
Use Your Team as a Support System to Reach Work-Life Balance
While the traditional office has changed a lot in the last year or two, your team is there to share the load of projects and planning that inevitably stacks up around the holidays. In this case, communication is key to getting things done while remaining effectual. Take a look at yours and your team members responsibilities and determine what is the priority and what can wait. You may find that several of the essential tasks are really unnecessary to be done right now.
Plan your tasks and that of your team also based on schedules. With vacations, family visiting and everything else that comes with this time of year, planning early ensure that there is always coverage to address vital needs. Most importantly, focus on battling burnout and taking care of your people and the rest will fall into place. Finally, realize that it’s normal to be anxious right now – don’t be afraid to reach out to your colleagues for support and resources.
Don’t Try to Multi-Task or Take on Too Much
Multi-tasking is great, but it can soon overtake your priorities, causing more stress. When dealing with work, focus on that alone instead of trying to also take care of family or personal tasks. And although the idea of taking a few extra days off during the holidays might seem irrational at first, it’s necessary if you need to focus on family tasks. A recent Captivate Office Pulse survey showed that 77 percent of professionals feel that personal activities have become a workday necessity. In other words, take the time you need.
It’s easy to get into the mindset of being a people-pleaser. There’s the holiday party at your child’s school, clothing donations in the neighborhood and volunteering for the charitable organization. All of this on top of work projects can start to feel like too much. The solution? Pick and choose your activities by allowing yourself to say no. No one has endless strength or time so it’s important to prioritize what matters most.
Leave Work at Work & Know When to Unplug
It can be challenging to create an off switch between work and home – especially if you work remotely. However, distinguishing between the two worlds is key. This might include going to your local gym, running errands or making plans with friends. Moreover, scheduling activities immediately after you clock-out for the day ensures that your mind is preoccupied with things other than work.
Did you know that 59 percent of employees admit to checking in on work matters when they’re supposed to be off for the holidays? As Anne Lamott, American novelist and non-fiction writer, once said, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Detaching from work to relax without feeling guilty involves:
Viewing downtime as a recovery period. Just like the rest of your body, your brain also needs time to recoup.
Thinking of your team. If you’re a leader, you set the expectation for your team, including the importance of mental and emotional health.
Removing distractions. It’s easy to get caught up with work when it’s constantly in your face. The easiest solution? Log-out of all work programs at the end of each day, delete email and chat apps from your phone and create a separate workspace if you work remotely.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help to Attain Work-Life Balance During the Holidays
We tend to want to do it all and handle it ourselves, but during the holidays you may not be able to logistically accomplish all the tasks on your plate. At work, let your boss know if you are in need of resources, a temp for example, or some assistance from other departments. At home, rely on friends and family where you can or even hire help around the house for those tasks that can easily be assigned.
Juggling the holidays and work is no easy feat, but it’s a challenge you’ll face year after year. Rather than stress your way through the next few months, follow the above tips to achieve a positive work-life balance during the holidays.
Still need help? Outsourcing is another great way to get things done without the stress. Get in touch with us to explore how we can help you take the weight off your shoulders and let you focus on what really matters – growing your business.