Monday, December 24, 2018
Delray Beach, FL.- It’s Christmas Eve and you’re stressed. No wonder. You’ve been working double-time while attending to all your holiday obligations and trying to enjoy the festivities.
And so it’s no wonder that you feel you shouldn’t have to work today. But you do. You have to work, but you don’t have to put in another typical 8- to 10-hour day. You are going to limit your work to four hours, but they will be good hours. Your business, your family, and your equilibrium will be the beneficiaries.
Today’s objective: Get a good deal of useful and rewarding work done, as much as you can in four hours. Then go home early, feeling you’ve done your bit and met the challenge without a shred of guilt.
Here’s how I do it:
Spend the first of the four hours tackling the most important “must-do” item on your list. You don’t need to finish the task. Just give it a good start. Enough to give you the energy to get back to it with resolve after the holidays. If you have subordinates, encourage them to do the same.
Spend the next hour postponing non-essential work. Be ruthless with this or you will spend the rest of the holiday trying to catch up on these chores in your spare time. Allow anyone who reports to you to postpone non-essential tasks too.
Spend the third hour cleaning up all the non-critical odds and ends that you weren’t able to postpone. Do each as efficiently as possible. Short answers. Quick decisions. Delegations.
Don’t allow interruptions. Switch off your phone and close your door. Keep going until you’ve sorted through everything. You don’t need to do something about every item that’s waiting for you. Just give each a few seconds of attention, put it in a pending file, and leave your desk is uncluttered.
Spend your last hour emailing your colleagues to tell them that although you’ll be working on certain projects on certain days, you won’t be able to take on any new work until after the New Year. Leave a politely worded message to that effect on your voicemail, too. And send out a brief “Happy Holidays” message to your regular email correspondents.
Let your boss know that even when you’re not in the office, you’ll still be handling the important things. Then leave work when you said you would and forget about your work obligations the minute you’re out the door.
You’ve given yourself a holiday break by leaving work early. So now (and this may be the most important thing you can do today) do someone else a favor – preferably something for someone you don’t know or something that will surprise and delight someone you do know.
Have a great week!