It is officially The MOST Wonderful Time of the Year. The eggnog is spiked, the lights are bright and the retail sales are plentiful! However, it is also the time of the year where the successful working woman must also juggle family visits, holiday parties and impending end of the year deadlines. Fret no more, here are 10 tips to working effectively during the 2012 holiday season.
1) Plan Ahead: If you STAY ready, you ain’t got to GET ready! The only way to stay on top of your mountain of work and holiday obligations is to plan ahead and be ready for what may come your way. If you are in charge of cooking Christmas dinner, your menu should be set and your grocery lists and purchases should be mapped out way in advance, before of your Aunt Gladys starts ringing your doorbell. This includes staying on top of sales at your local grocer and buying non-perishables in advance. Additionally, if you know that this time of the year is busy on so many levels at work, start knocking out upcoming projects during slower periods at the office so you are not overwhelmed once your calendar is on TILT.
2) Be Effective: Be wise when deciding your commitments during this time. Sure, it may seem like a good idea to volunteer as Chairwoman of the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party at your firm, but if you have not finished your year-end reports, then that may not be a good idea. Your performance on closing a deal is more important than subjecting your co-workers to self-deprecation. Additionally, use your resources. I have plenty of girlfriends who love to grocery shop. I kindly send them my list and some money when I can’t make the trip and they in turn ask the same of me when they are strapped on time.
3) Be Efficient: Work smarter, not harder. Your time will be extremely limited during the holiday, therefore, you should not relinquish unnecessary energy and/or time. If you must attend your corporate continuing education seminars this week, but have yet to set your menu, whip out your iPad and get to Pinterest(ing) away during breaks. If your daily commute allows you time to make your guest lists and review your calendar of events, then by all means do that instead of circling the stale bagel bar that they haven’t put up yet. Word for the day: multitask.
4) Ask Around: I was in Houston for a few weeks before heading back to New York. Prior to my return, I sent an email, text, What’s App message and smoke signal to everyone in my social circle informing them when I was returning to New York and of my availability to serve as their plus one to any and all holiday soirees of 2012. My calendar was filled in less than a day. Closed mouths don’t get fed and folded arms can’t receive cocktails. If you want in on some of the holiday festivivites, ask and ye shall receive!
5) Properly Manage Your Time: Do not hit that snooze button. If you know you are attending several holiday parties this week, and you still have a lot of work to do, then you should get to the office early!
6) Holiday Hours are the Best: When I worked with a firm, we received an email from the Managing Partner stating the hierarchy of who will get dibs on days off during the holidays. I kindly sent him an email stating that I will happily work during the holidays. You want to know why? NO ONE is around and you can get work done faster and without distractions and/or anybody bothering you. This means knocking out more work and getting out of the office early enough to go out afterwards.
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7) Keep It Cute: If your company or firm is having a holiday party, first, you MUST attend. Second, please Keep it Cute. This includes controlling your alcohol intake, dressing appropriately and networking wisely. You do not want to be remembered as the co-worker who had one too many Jameson’s and Ginger Ale, or the co-worker who did not attend at all. Utilize the holiday party as a great means to speak on a casual basis with your boss and supervisors about the great work you have done over the year.
8) Have a Great Team: I am more or less the social coordinator of my “crew.” Therefore, I have to assess which events are most conducive to some of my friends. If it’s an open bar event, I know who to invite as opposed to if it is Alvin Ailey event. Every event ain’t for everybody! Wisely choose your team or “committee” and have your travel logistics planned in advance to make for time optimization after work.
9) Exercise: Girl you know you are not going to be able to turn down those holiday desserts. Just work out and it will be fine!
10) Don’t Stress: Again, it’s the MOST wonderful time of the year. Eat, drink and be merry and count your blessings for all you have accomplished at work and in your personal life this year!
Rashida Maples, Esq. is Founder and Managing Partner of J. Maples & Associates (www.jmaplesandassociates.com). She has practiced Entertainment, Real Estate and Small Business Law for 9 years, handling both transactional and litigation matters. Her clients include R&B Artists Bilal and Olivia, NFL Superstar Ray Lewis, Fashion Powerhouse Harlem’s Fashion Row and Hirschfeld Properties, LLC.
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