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How to switch off for the holidays

Just before Christmas, we had a debate in the Project XYZ office about how to most effectively ‘switch off’ during the holidays. After a decade in business, 2018 was the first year when we weren’t “on call” over the Christmas holidays. This year will be our second. YAY! To say it’s liberating is an understatement, but the unfortunate fact is that many of us continue in “on mode” over the holidays. After a bit of though, I came up with these three hacks for switching off. Here they are!

  1. On call? Know what for. If you’re someone who needs to be on call for your business over the holidays, make sure it’s clear (for yourself and others!) exactly what you’re on call for. If you’re generally the person people call when there’s an issue, trust me, the holidays aren’t going to stop that. Instead, develop a decision tree in your absence and ensure that people are aware who is on call and for what. Be clear what people are on call for and endeavor, where possible, to redirect people through this process. It might take a few goes to get it right, but as soon as you establish the ‘on call boundary’, there’ll be fewer interruptions – so you can maximise your relaxation time without worry.
  2. Manage your social media and email usage. Switch your email and phone to out of office 24–48 hours before you head away. This gives you the chance to save any non-urgent emails coming through for your return. Turn off push notifications, and, if possible, sign out of the gram. Got a burning desire to share? You can #latergram or throwback to Christmas is totally appropriate over the Christmas season!
  3. Be organised! Going on holiday feels so much better if you’ve completed your ‘to do’ list and feel in control. Make sure that any critical items that might catch fire in your absence are dealt with in advance (and that the people around you feel as if any issues they have, have been resolved too). Finalise your “to do” list for 2020 and return from holiday feeling relaxed and organized.

Now you have a free-pass to simply ENJOY your holiday! While we’ve always been “on call” over the Christmas period, there’s no doubt that the holiday season gives most of us a few precious moments to stop, breathe and recalibrate. From the 24th of December to the 6th January most people are generally on holiday and it causes a natural stop in emails and phone calls, but if you’re lucky enough to holiday beyond those dates, these tips will come in super-handy! Enjoy this period… it doesn’t last forever!