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The Green Sheet Online Edition

December 08, 2008 • Issue 08:12:01

Inspiration

Ditch the holiday roller coaster

As ISOs and merchant level salespeople, you know better than most just how much retailers depend on holiday-season sales to carry them through the following year; your fortunes are entwined with theirs, after all.

But money isn't the only thing being spent this time of year. The season demands time and energy, as well. How does that affect you? When a cashier wishes you happy holidays, do you inwardly groan a bit because you have so many extra tasks still undone?

The holiday season, for most, is fraught with endless extra errands, events and decisions. Like Santa, we're making lists and checking them twice: holiday card lists, gift lists, guest lists, holiday dinner grocery lists and to-do lists.

Too much to do

Your to-do list probably includes many of the following - and more:

  • Sending cards to clients, friends and family
  • Researching gift ideas for same
  • Purchasing gifts
  • Stopping by to personally deliver holiday cheer to special clients and friends
  • Traveling out of town to visit relatives or friends
  • Hosting out-of-town relatives or friends
  • Phoning clients, friends and family whom you are unable to visit
  • Hauling out holiday decorations at the office and at home
  • Identifying and replacing worn out bulbs, crushed wreaths or broken decorative nutcrackers
  • Decorating home and office
  • Cooking labor-intensive, decadent dishes you trot out only once a year
  • Taking children to view colored lights and storefront displays downtown or spectacularly decked-out neighborhoods
  • Choosing which charitable organizations to support and deciding how much to give them
  • Volunteering for a soup kitchen or similar charitable service

Your list probably also includes events to attend, such as:

  • Formal and informal office parties hosted by your company
  • Holiday parties hosted by your clients
  • The lighting of community Christmas trees or menorahs
  • Holiday performances at your children's or grandchildren's schools
  • Special religious services
  • Holiday musicals or ballets such as "The Nutcracker Ballet" or "A Christmas Carol"

While many of the listed tasks are pleasurable, they can be time consuming and taxing. Factor in the routine personal activities that must continue despite the holidays (take the garbage out, drive the children to piano lessons, pick up the dry cleaning, shop for groceries and so forth), and getting everything accomplished can seem impossible. So, how can you keep yourself from being run into the ground? Eliminate activities that drain your time and energy.

Time to let go

Following are possible candidates for elimination or, if you can't chuck them, reduction:

  • Watching television
  • Reading newspapers and magazines
  • Staying up late reading novels in bed
  • Surfing the Web, reading blogs or visiting social networking sites
  • Listening to talk radio
  • Chatting for half an hour at a time on the phone
  • Playing video games, solitaire or online role playing games
  • Text messaging

And here are some bad habits to break (or avoid if you don't do them already):

  • Working through your lunch break
  • Skipping meals
  • Eating too much, especially of rich, fatty foods that sap your energy
  • Working late after everyone else in the office has gone home
  • Drinking more than a moderate amount of caffeine and alcohol
  • Sitting crouched at a computer for hours
  • Failing to exercise and stretch

We all know the wisdom of managing time and prioritizing tasks to attain professional and personal goals. It makes sense to pay particular attention to this during the holidays. Eliminate the unnecessary clutter from your day, and don't overdo. After all, what's the point of celebrating only to be sick in bed afterward?

If you draft a plan and eliminate the unnecessary tasks, you may even be able to schedule a massage or an extra round of golf. end of article

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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