For most of us, this time of year brings extra stress and challenges as we try not only to prepare for Christmas with our families but also the preparations in our workplace. Leadership at Christmas time means:
· identifying what needs done,
· who’s going to be around to do it and
· contingency plans for when people are away, the program or office is closed.
In this time is seems to mean for many that in the back of your minds, you are trying to push aside the view of the tons of work that will pile up and need to be tackled in the New Year. It means trying to find time to do your own shopping and preparations. Oh, and don’t forget it also means that you are supposed to be smiling and cheerful, decorate your door, have extra time for chatting and visiting and parties! Phew, I’m tired just writing all of that! It’s no wonder many leaders take the Bah humbug view of Christmas.
What if this time of year could be easier? Less stressful? Less challenging? It can be! At least a little bit. It happens by looking at the expectations you put on yourself and adjusting them a little bit, ever so slightly so that you start to see things a bit differently.
For example – You know that you have to drop parcels off today at the post office and your worried about the line up? Use this as your time. Standing in line, take some deep breaths. You always complain you never get time for yourself, here it is. Be creative. Make up stories in your head about the person in front you in the line up. Take this time as your coffee break, your humor break, your relaxation time. Leave your cell phone in the vehicle and relax!
Need a few extra minutes in the morning to do an extra errand or sign some forms? Try putting your hair in a ponytail today, wearing a Santa hat or putting on less make-up. We spend a lot of time worrying about what we look like and sometimes lowing those expectations for a day will help take some of the pressure off.
Spend some time in gratitude. Look around the office. Who is digging deep and really helping out with tasks, holiday spirit or holding down the fort while many are going away. Be grateful for the things that are happening. Acknowledge them both to yourself and sometimes publically. Look at the expectations you place on yourself. Step back and acknowledge what you have, and who’s on your team helping out. Even if it is a small thing, take the time to notice it.
The truth about making things easier on yourself is that it starts in your head. The self-talk and inner dialogue you have with yourself is what creates the world you live in.
Thoughts are boomerangs, returning with precision to their source. Choose wisely which ones you throw.
If you choose to think this is a crazy stressful time, it will be. If you choose to think you are going to be overwhelmed, you will be. If you think you are going to run out of time, you will.
If you choose to think you will find tiny pockets of peace, you will. If you choose to think you will spend some quality time with your family, you will. If you choose to think the necessary work will get done on time, it will.
I lead a full life full of love, adventure and growth. Check out my latest thoughts here.
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