With the festive season fast approaching, it is important to reduce our stress levels so that we can truly enjoy the festivities and maximise our business success for the rest of the year. A key to doing this is to learn how to master your thinking so that you can think jolly this festive season and beyond. By mastering your thinking, you will reduce your stress levels, increase your productivity and success in business.
Forget about doing everything
Why is it that people feel the need to get everything done before Christmas and the festive season begin? Why put so much unnecessary stress on yourself? Forget about doing everything before the festive season and take the pressure off. “Everything” is a lot of things, which are probably too many to complete in the time you have available in the lead up to the festive season. So instead of getting overwhelmed as you think about everything you need to do and setting yourself up for more stress, be realistic and set yourself up for success!
Now is the time to set some priorities for yourself for the next couple of weeks. Firstly, make a list of things that must be completed before the festive season in your business (eg. finish projects for clients, convert leads to clients for next year’s projects, arrange seasons’ greetings cards and hampers for clients, attend networking events, etc). Then make a list of things that must be completed before the festive season begins personally (eg. buy presents, write cards for family and friends, finalise holiday plans, etc).
Prioritise for success
Then once you have these lists complete, ask yourself, does each activity on your lists really need to be completed before the festive season. If not, it is OK to say no to things that are a low priority and that can wait until after the new year begins. If yes, prioritise the actions on each list in order of importance, and then put a completion date next to each action. Once your list of priorities is complete and is realistic, you will feel more at ease and think more clearly.
Make sure that you put aside time in your diary or planner to do these actions. By seeing the actions in your diary or planner it will keep you focused and will help to minimise any distractions. If you rely on remembering everything that needs to be done, you will likely add to your stress levels and there is a risk it may be missed (out of sight, out of mind).
Next, think about the things that can wait until after the festive season and make a list of the things you want to complete, both personally and in business during the following timeframes: - during the festive season break - during January 2015 - during February 2015.
Again, you can prioritise each list and put timeframes for completion next to each action, and then diarise these actions.
How to think jolly this festive season
How you think and speak to yourself will determine whether or not you are motivating yourself to take the above action, and therefore, how successful you will be. Also, if and how you acknowledge yourself for the action that you complete will determine whether your motivation levels are sustained or whether they take a dive, especially during challenges.
Here is a very simple and effective technique that you can begin applying immediately to think jolly this festive season and beyond, and to stay motivated.
Start giving yourself daily or weekly feedback on the above actions that you are taking. Instead of beating yourself up when faced with challenges, telling yourself all the things you could have or should have done, give yourself some constructive feedback. Sit down at the end of each day or week and write down the answers to three questions:
What did I do well today/this week?
What can I improve?
Overall, how was my day/week? (end on a positive)
This will assist you to learn from your actions, celebrate your successes and help you move to the next level of your business success! Used consistently, this becomes an extremely powerful process for staying motivated and focused, in the lead up to the festive season and beyond.
Enjoy applying the above techniques to think jolly and enjoy a relaxing festive season.
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