How to Survive Busy Season
The holidays are distant memory and you’ve forgotten what it feels like to have daylight greet you at the beginning and end of your workday. While you’re non-accounting and tax friends are planning winter getaways, you’re trying to find any last remaining clean shirts.
Just remember, you’re not alone, and there are ways to regain your sanity.
Take Care of Yourself
This seems obvious, but self-care is often one of the first things people neglect when work gets crazy (hence the clean shirts). Stick to a routine to ensure you’re getting enough sleep, set aside time to create meal plans that will help you eat better, and sneak exercise in wherever you can – take the stairs, walk to the store, or stretch while you watch TV. Being smack in the middle of cold and flu season means you should probably stock up on vitamins, too.
Do what you need to do to stay on track. Calendars and to-do lists, whether on paper or on your computer or phone, can be life-savers when you find yourself with too much to do. Prioritizing techniques like colour-coding and flagging items on calendars and lists, or in your email inbox, will keep you even more organized, and setting up automatic notifications will remind you of your deadlines. A 10 minute prioritization and scheduling exercise once a day can significantly decrease stress levels.
Don’t know where to start? Read “How to Organize Your Life: 10 Habits of Really Organized People” for easy ways to get back on track.
Look for Inspiration
If you’re a fan of inspirational quotes, follow a spiritual guru or life coach on social media for a little morale boost each day. For something a little more in-depth, reach for a self-help or inspirational book that will help you stay grounded and encourage you to move forward. There might even be someone in your office who can offer some sage advice on getting through the next couple of months.
Checking your phone every few minutes won’t help you accomplish much in the task-completing department, so turning the volume off, or even the phone off completely, and putting the device somewhere out of view is a good way to find focus. Distractions can also come in the form of colleagues who want to chat, so you might need to make it clear to them when the conversation has to end (politely, of course).
Just Say No
Learn to speak up for yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, since delegating or splitting the workload can ease feelings of anxiety, as well as can often get the job done faster. This also applies to your personal life, where too many obligations can prevent you from focusing on what you need and want. It’s OK to decline an event invitation or drop a hobby that you’re no longer enjoying.
Find Reasons to Smile
Outside of work, do what makes you happy, whether it’s working out, baking or cooking, spending time with family and friends, being creative, or volunteering. Taking time to unwind and let your hair down is important for your mental and emotional wellbeing. Looking to the future can also help, whether that means planning a trip, or organizing a fun event. At work, try to stay focused on the positive and look for small things each day that you appreciate.
You can’t do much about how cold it is outside, or even how much work is about to come across your desk, but you can control how you’re going to deal with all of it. Making your physical and mental health a priority will help ensure that you are ready to take on new challenges and stay ahead of your peers. Doing things to keep yourself organized and motivated, at home and work, will pay off with increased productivity, giving you more downtime. Finally, focusing on what’s great in your life will help balance out stress and a lack of energy.