■Define Success / Work Backwards:
"Pretend you could wave a magic wand. When you go back to work after the holidays, after the family visits, parties, and a few too many cookies, how would you like to see things at work and at home? Then, work backwards. It's easy to get caught up in all of the activity, only to realize it's the second week of January, your house is a mess and the work you promised your boss still isn't done. If you have a clear picture of what success looks like, work backward and create daily and weekly goals to ensure you are staying on track. This allows you to make slight adjustments, rather than be overwhelmed or have to figure it all out at once."
"When we are under stress and have a lot to manage, it's easy to think that multi-tasking will help us be more productive. Unfortunately, that can't be farther from the truth. In reality, you are not able to give your full attention to any of things you are working on, making careless errors, and taking longer to complete than if you had just done one at a time."
■Define Your High Payoff Activities:
"What are the top five activities, both at home and at work, that will generate the biggest payoff for the time invested? Do those first. Shopping, errands, phone calls, travel arrangements, and all of the other miscellaneous holiday minutia will fill in the time between. Resist the urge to put those high payoff activities off because you'll get caught up in a flurry of activity without accomplishing the really important things."
■Look for the Right Things:
"During the holidays, it's easy to get stressed out, caught up in office and family drama, and behind on tasks at work and at home. When you start feeling that stress and frustration, it's easy to look for all of the things that are causing it, which only makes you see more of it. Look for things to be grateful for, ways to stay focused on the right priorities, and work toward your definition of success. Celebrate small wins along the way."
About Anne Grady: Anne is an entrepreneur, author and expert in personal and organizational transformation. She shares lessons she has learned in her new book, “52 Strategies for Life, Love and Work.” Visit www.AnneGradyGroup.com.