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Work – Life Balance over the Holidays: Time Management for the Holidays

November 2011

Source: Military OneSource

Military spouses work hard year-round to maintain a balance between career and family. Working while parenting is never easy and is even more challenging when the other parent is deployed. When the holidays arrive, even the smallest extra tasks can seem overwhelming. When your home and work life responsibilities start going into overdrive, what you need is not an extra three hours in a day, but a realistic plan of action to take advantage of the time you do have. Use the following tips to make the holidays a time to look forward to:

  • Set boundaries with work. Leave work at the office whenever possible. Try not to take work calls at home or to schedule meetings too late in the day. Leave your work responsibilities at your desk and come home ready to focus on family. Having clear boundaries will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed and will let you feel more focused on family.
  • Let your family help out. It is unfair to expect one person to be everywhere at once or to get everything done on his or her own. Look at your list of things to do and figure out what tasks you can delegate. The quicker you get through your list, the more time you will all have to spend together as a family.
  • Learn to say “No”. You know you can’t do it all, but it’s a little-known secret that no one expects you to! There are so many holiday parties and gatherings at this time of year. Everyone is feeling just as busy and overwhelmed as you are, and coworkers will certainly understand an RSVP with regrets. If you make the decision to say no to an event in favor of having more time with family, be sure to connect with the host another time and to see how the event went. In the meantime, enjoy those extra hours at home!
  • Set aside time for daily maintenance. There are so many little tasks to track and manage during the holiday season. Divide your to-do list into a few categories and spend a little time each day attending to the most pressing tasks in each category. RSVP to parties, check travel arrangements, and mark up the family calendar at the same time each day to avoid feeling like you are on the go all the time.

When we get rushed and busy, it is easy to lose sight of why the holiday season can be so wonderful! By becoming more organized and taking an active role in managing your time, you can bring the joy back into the holiday season for you and your family.



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