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Three Ways to Manage Your Stress During the Holidays

Holidays are made fun with lively music and decor, opportunities to visit friends and families, and, of course, time off from work. But let’s face it, winter holidays can also be extremely stressful, more than any other time of year.

So how can you take charge of your workday and ease the pressure of this time of year? Here are a few strategies to help you enjoy the year right up to the end, frazzle-free.

Stay Organized By Bookending Your Days:

If you want to reduce your stress load during the holidays, you need to plan ahead. One of the best ways to do that is to take 5-10 minutes at the beginning and end of the day to write down what you plan to achieve for the day, and assess whether or not you achieved it.

When you first wake up, don’t check your phone, social media, or the news. Instead spend a few minutes clarifying your top 3-5 tasks for the day, and writing them down. At night, before you go to sleep, review how things went and think ahead for the next day. Stay ahead of the ever-growing task list in November and December.

Say No and Focus On What You REALLY Want:

With the holidays around the corner, your ‘to do’ list is bound to get longer, and often others are bound to try to lighten their load by putting their tasks on your list. Saying “no” is a must during this time of year, but you might feel uncomfortable doing so. You don’t want to appear rude or burn any bridges. How can you create healthy boundaries?

First, focus on what really matters to you. Write down your priorities so that you have them in tangible form. When people ask you to take on responsibilities that do not align with your number one goals, respectfully decline them without beating around the bush, delaying, or otherwise indicating that you are “considering it.”

Be firm, be respectful, don’t be afraid to say no twice if you must, without getting irritated. People will eventually get the message.

Reduce Interruptions:

Except for when it is necessary for work purposes, get into the habit of keeping your phone off and out of reach. Give yourself permission to work in new environments if you need to put some physical space between yourself and potential interrupters, and let your colleagues, friends, and family know what times you are available to them, and when you need time to focus on your tasks.

The holidays can be stressful, but they needn’t be, not if you stay conscientious of the way you manage your time, energy, and interactions with others. And when you reduce your stress level you will better be able to better enjoy celebrating with the people you care about.

AMA Executive Conference Centers offer some of the industry’s best executive meeting and conference venues. We work to help companies and corporate planners across the U.S. facilitate meetings with the best possible outcomes. Contact us today to see how we can help in planning your next meeting in AtlantaNew York, the Washington DC area or San Francisco. No matter what the season, we’re here to help.

Surviving The Busy Holiday Season By Being Organized

As the holidays approach, so too do those end-of-the-year meetings and holiday events. But as much as it’s a celebratory period, it’s also a season where your time as a planner is limited.

We ask, what better time to get organized than in the Fall?! October offers a great time to focus on getting yourself organized before the hectic holiday season hits. The kids are back in school and Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away. Take some time now to get yourself organized before those invites start coming in for parties or before you find yourself the one in need of extra rentals for your event. Position yourself to leap into action from a much more prepared place, all because of a little organization.

Here are our top three helpful tips for getting better organized and ready for the busy holiday season:

Start With A List

In order to find a starting place, take some time and write out a list of the top five spots in your home and office that are most important to you to be organized. (Don’t forget that your car can be one of these!) From there, write out five actions you’ll take to make each spot more organized and efficient. This will not only provide you with a starting place but will also help you navigate your goals – making the mountain before you seem much more manageable.

Label, Label, Label

Some say there’s no better step to getting organized than having a labeling system. If you don’t know what something is, then what good is organizing it, right? There are many methods for doing this. Whichever method you choose make sure that your labels are easy to read and right to the point. For example, if you have a box of ornaments, don’t just slap the label “Christmas” on it. Take the extra time to label it “Christmas Tree Ornaments” so that you know not to open that box when you’re looking for the holiday lights.

Purge ‘Stuff’ For Peace Of Mind

Most people can stand to throw away a lot more of their ‘stuff’ than they typically do. Often, our houses and offices become downright smothered by stuff. The adage about a cluttered space causing a cluttered mind just might have some validity to it. When your home and work areas are in a recognizable order, your life becomes easier to navigate. This peace of mind allows you to focus on the important people and moments in your life. Simply set aside a day just to purge items. Buy a box of garbage bags and go room to room collecting all the things you do not need. You just might be surprised at how much you collect for donation and the dumpster – not to mention how freeing it is to purge and make space in your home, office, life and mind.

At the end of the day, becoming organized is sure to make you feel better. Take some time this week, as you may not have it later, and set yourself up for success and lots of celebrating this holiday event season.

At AMA Executive Conference Centers, we are passionate about helping event and meeting planners maximize their time and improve their work-life harmony. For more information about our executive meeting services and conference centers in Atlanta, New York City, San Francisco and Washington DC, contact us here.