There’s nothing like the blissful quiet of the holidays – no telephone ringing to interrupt you, no unread email demanding your attention, no one expecting brilliant ideas for your next meeting. Just peace and quiet…
It’s tempting to think of the holiday quiet as the perfect time to catch-up and maybe even get ahead. How else are you going to find uninterrupted time when no one is demanding your time and attention?
Do NOT give in!
Yes, you probably could get more done without all the distractions of the regular 9 to 5, but that probably means how you are currently managing your time isn’t working. It means you need to carve out more quiet, distraction-free time in your everyday routine.
It’s tempting when the kids are outside playing in the snow and your husband is assembling the latest holiday gadget to quickly rid your inbox of that extra email, clean up your desk, go through that backlog of paperwork, get a head start on the stuff that fell behind before the holidays.
Don’t. Not even for 5 minutes.
Besides the obvious work-life boundary problems and the fact that your family wants and deserves your time and attention during the holidays, you need downtime. The creative energy you pour into growing your business needs downtime.
How to Use the Holidays to Restore Your Creativity
#1: Do Nothing – Not the doing nothing that involves reading business books or magazines, but the special kind of doing nothing that only happens when you are truly on holidays. If you must entertain yourself with consuming media, make it frivolous and in no way related to work or of any intellectual value whatsoever.
#2: Enjoy Life – Cookies are especially suited to this job so give yourself permission to indulge. If sweets aren’t your thing, treat yourself to a long bubble bath, a relaxing stroll in the snow or an hour sitting in front of the fire.
#3: Simplify Your Routine – Get back to the basics of living and enjoying and ditch all the fussy routines and daily household to-do’s. For example, save on laundry hassle by declaring family pajama day and spend the entire day working on the giant puzzle dominating the dining room table.
#4: Disconnect – Give yourself the benefit of a media blackout period to clear your mind of all the noise and clutter that goes with modern communication. That means no email, no checking voicemail and no social media (yes, I said no social media).
#5: Be Lazy – If you insist on catching up on something, catch up on sleep. Chances are you were burning both ends to get ready for the holidays so pay back the debt by sleeping in or taking afternoon naps.
Now do what needs to be done to give yourself a much-needed and well-earned break. Your success in 2012 will thank you for it!