Holiday Workplace Survival Guide

While the holiday season is supposed to be a joyous occasion, for many of us it’s become the season of stress. We all have a million things to do, tons of people to see, gifts to buy, and on top that we still have work to do!

So how do we not just survive, but thrive this holiday season?

There are a lot of factors to contend with. On top of all the obligations at home there are the end of year reports, loose ends to tie up on projects, and work parties to attend.  So much to do with a limited amount of time.

Does it feel like you’re limping over the finish line? Well, you’re not alone. Here are some common year end obstacles many of us struggle with and some survival tips to help get you through.

Are you losing steam?

Holiday inertia sneaks up on us. Mariah is blasting from all sides, our stomachs are full of chocolate and candy cane, and the will to work is just not there. Some days off are on the horizon, can’t we just get to stuffing ourselves with stuffing yet?

While that would be nice, you still have work to do!

Survival tip #1: The year end to-do list.

Practicing good time management strategies are a great way to boost motivation. Feeling in control of our time is an important factor for motivation.

Try making yourself an actionable to-do list specific for getting through the holiday season. Identify what must be completed before the end of the year, what would be beneficial to complete, and what you can push until next year. This way you can prioritize your tasks and set yourself up for an easier return to work in the new year.

Too much to do and not enough time?

As others are trying to cross of their to-do lists, it’s easy to be caught up other people’s demands for your time. As the office closure approaches, your calendar is getting clogged up with meeting requests. How are you supposed to get the crucial things done when your expected to be in back-to-back meetings?

Survival tip #2: Can we push this to the new year?

Be choosy and ask questions before you commit to a meeting. The question “Can we push this until the new year?” is your new best friend. You’ll likely be surprised at how willing people will be to push the meeting out if possible. Afterall, everyone’s plate is pretty full this time of year.

So, how can you tell if a meeting can be pushed? If the actionable results from the meeting can’t be initiated until the new year, then the meeting should be pushed. There is no use meeting and making a game plan right before everyone leaves. Plan once your back in the office so that it’s fresh on everyone’s mind.

Keep up the connections.

The holidays are all about connecting with loved ones, but for many of us, they can be quite lonely and alienating. Not everyone has families to celebrate with or the money for lavish trips and gifts, but the good fortunes of others are on full display.

Survival tip #3: Show that you care.

Do something nice for your team. This can be as small as writing some personalized cards thanking them for their hard work or taking the team out for lunch. It’s easy to get caught up with everything that still needs to get done, but it’s important to celebrate the achievements of the past year with the people who got you there.

Work party blues.

Whether you love or hate holiday work parties, it is undeniable that they have their pitfalls. Some of us struggle to enjoy them, and some of us enjoy them too much.

Survival tip #4: The buddy system.

Enlist a work friend to be your “buddy” for the party.

If work parties aren’t your thing, make plans with a buddy to help get you there. Meet for appetizers beforehand so you can walk in together. If there are people you want to connect with at the party, let your friend know so that you have someone to be accountable too. Also, if parties aren’t your thing, it’s totally okay to leave after desert. People will remember that you came, not that you left early.

If parties ARE your thing, having a “buddy” to help keep you grounded can be super helpful. It’s easy to get swept up in the fun and wake up with a headache and regrets. A solid action plan with your buddy can ensure you have fun and stay on track and in control.

Setting intentions with your buddy before going to the party is a helpful strategy regardless of how you feel about the party. If you said you wanted to leave by 9:00, your buddy can help keep you accountable.

Selfcare for survival.

During times of stress, selfcare is super important. But also, how sick are you of hearing that? Feeling tired? Selfcare. Feeling overwhelmed? Selfcare. The answer to everything that ails you these days seems to be selfcare.

But selfcare doesn’t always mean a two-hour bath and an elaborate skin care routine – everything we’ve listed here is selfcare. Time management practices, setting boundaries, keeping up connections, and planning for potentially challenging social situations is all part of caring for yourself.

Not sure what to give this year? Give the gift of professional development!

During the month of December, all our Communication Core courses are 20% off with the promo code OEGIFT20. Our 90-minute webinars are a hands-on and interactive experience that leave participants with actionable skills they can start implementing right away.

Check out Own the Room, As Per My Last Email, and Answer the Damn Question for more details on each course.

Good luck and happy holidays!