Louise Thompson: Slay the work madness
There is a Kiwi-specific cultural phenomenon that happens for those in the workforce in December. What happens is that every project you have ever been associated with in the previous 11 months (and some that you haven’t) suddenly has to absolutely be finished by Christmas Eve, or the world will end.
Due to the fabulously extended January holidays we all enjoy this creates a pressure cooker environment which can lead to a) massive overwhelm b) utterly unrealistic expectations that can never be met c) not enough time for Christmas shopping or drinking egg nog whilst wearing festive antlers.
Those in the Northern Hemisphere will be back at work as usual on the January 3, whilst most Kiwis will be drinking cold ones for another 4 weeks, so clearly we win. No one would want to give up their January. But how can we reach it without descending into Christmas madness?
Here are a few tips you can put in place today.
1. Get really, really clear that the working world will not in fact end at midday on December 24. Do not buy into the madness.
2. Get ahead of the game and set some expectations now on what you can deliver by when and communicate this with staff/customers/clients/suppliers/colleagues. Be confident and set your boundaries on what is realistic.
3. Very common at this time of year is the colleague whistling in a project and making it your problem, when in fact they have been procrastinating on it since June. Boundaries are required here, people. Use your “no” judiciously but firmly.
4. Accept that some stuff will not get done before Christmas. This is okay because a) the world will not end (see point 1), and b) it means you have a job to come back to.
5. Make time for some fun. The seriousness of the Christmas madness can suck the joy out of a normally happy workplace as everyone struggles with end of year deadlines. Remember that this is the season of goodwill and make sure you allow enough space for laughs and thank yous and celebration too.
Life coach Louise Thompson helps people unlock their happiest and healthiest life. Find more at louisethompson.com