Every November, a dear friend puts an automatic response on all incoming email messages that reads, “This is our busy season. I will not be responding to email until February.” Her message reflects her years of experience in retail. Over 60% of her revenue comes in a six week period. To optimize customer services, she simplifies everything else. But you don’t have to be in retail to feel overwhelmed in December.
From after-work parties to school concerts, December is a time when one’s time and attention are often stretched. If you exchange gifts, it’s also a time when you may be stressed by the search for that “extra-special gift.” To top it off, December marks the end of the fiscal year, which comes with its own demands.
So, how do you survive the December dash without crashing your sleigh into a tree by the 31st?
You likely already know what is coming: A full slate of work and family parties, school events, and end-of-year meetings. Anticipate and proactively prepare.
Prioritize Your Health
The stretch from late November to late December can do a number on one’s health. There is pressure to eat and drink more and decreased time to workout, sleep, and recharge. Also, all socializing means more contact with more people, including those carrying viruses. This combination puts increased stress on even the most robust immune systems. I recommend the following:
Ensure Your Systems Are Up and Running
The more systems you have you in place, the better off you’ll be as you launch into one of the most hectic months of the year.
As you prepare for the December dash, think strategically about what you can delegate. What’s on your list of things to do? What do you want to do, and what would you prefer to not think about at all? Once you have a list of tasks, start delegating. Who on your current team can take on the tasks at hand? If no one fits the bill, can you hire a tasker to take on one or more specific jobs on your list?
If you prepare and embrace the above strategies, you’ll be more likely to avoid overwhelm. You’ll also be more likely to avoid crashing your sleigh before the month’s end!