How to Reduce the Hectic in the Holidays

img_0550There are so many things to do, both personally and professionally in the next few days.

You are committed to three holiday parties plus a big presentation for work. You haven’t finished buying gifts for your employees and family and hate the crowds and traffic this time of year. It is a lot to handle on top of your normal workload.

Even so, using a few organizing tools can contribute to an enjoyable holiday season.  I hope these tips will help you reduce your stress.

Tips for a Balanced Holiday Season:

  • Collect money for a charity in lieu of a holiday party and gifts to co-workers.
  • Make gift giving easy – Shop online and ship the gift directly to the recipient.
  • Cancel meetings that cover topics that can wait until next year.
  • Be present and in the moment – Enjoy your child’s holiday performance. The work will be there when you get back.
  • Don’t be hard on yourself – this isn’t about perfection.  Be realistic with your expectations.  You’ll probably be spending more time than usual on non-work activities.  It’s okay.
  • If you have an offsite meeting near a shopping area, plan to go directly from the meeting to do some shopping.  Make a list (check it twice) and keep it with you.
  • Find a co-worker who has similar errands to run.  During lunch, you can stand in line at the post office for both of you while your co-worker runs your collective errands at another location.


Of all the traditions we have in my family, the most important one I want to pass down to my children is a balanced approach to the holidays.  I want them to remember the joy of the season and family gatherings.  I will have to say “no” to some personal and professional demands to achieve that goal, but long term, it is worth it.


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Dr. Melissa GratiasMelissa Gratias (pronounced “Gracious”) used to think that productivity was a result of working long hours. And, she worked a lot of hours. Then, she learned that productivity is a skill set, not a personality trait. Now, Melissa is a productivity expert who coaches and trains other businesspeople to be more focused, balanced, and effective. She is a prolific writer and speaker who travels the world helping people change how they work and improve how they live. Contact her at or 912-417-2505. Sign up to receive her productivity tips via email.


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