It’s often a challenge for busy executives to break free of demanding work cycles during the holidays, but this downtime can be a rare and much needed breather, as well as an opportunity to refresh and refocus. The holidays can also be a time to bolster office teamwork, improve cohesiveness, and enhance morale. As an added bonus, studies have shown that time off actually increases productivity.
Here are a few strategies on how to achieve a better work-life balance during the holidays.
Plan Ahead – Working as a team to balance time off with “on time” during the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas can prevent the office from appearing a “ghost town” and help maintain morale. Emphasize to personnel the importance of recharging through down time while also contributing to the team’s goal of ensuring the business is running smoothly and clients’ needs are being addressed.
Mentor Aspiring Leaders – The holidays can be a golden opportunity to allow senior managers and junior executives to spread their wings and take on greater responsibilities during the holidays. The performance of these aspiring senior leaders can be assessed and incorporated into the career track evaluation process.
Delegate – Loosen the grip on the reins momentarily and assign less important functions to staff while remaining in the loop on a “need to know” basis. Upon your return from the holiday break, you may discover that some tasks can be delegated permanently to other staff, allowing you to focus on more critical areas.
Limit Gadget Use – Disconnect from smartphones and other electronics as much as possible. Constant electronic connectivity can make it next to impossible to truly relax. Removing yourself from the business environment is not enough to recharge; resist the urge to frequently check for messages. Mute your phone and check email once or twice a day, routing important matters to others and replying only to critical items. Make a concerted effort to not mentally let go of business matters and refocus attention on family and friends.
Expand Your Network – Holiday parties can be a great time to meet new contacts, reconnect with former colleagues, and generally expand your network. Remember that others are also enjoying cherished downtime so maintain common courtesy by limiting the “shop talk” to a brief introduction and business card exchange.
Hopefully these suggestions will help you make the most of your holiday down time. The Executive Resumes Atlanta team wishes you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.