Sometimes you don’t get a lot of time off during the holidays. It may be even less if you own a business. But no matter how long or short, it’s important to invest the time you do have well.
I’m not always great at investing my time well. But I’ve gotten better through the past few years simply by gauging how I’ve felt after I’ve spent my time. For example, if I spent too long on Pinterest in an evening, I’ve felt guilty and unrefreshed afterwards. However, if I spent time at a family function talking to people and getting to know them better, I’ve felt thankful and refreshed. So, I’ve compiled lists of ways for us to maximize our time off over the holidays so that we can best refresh ourselves and others.
How to maximize The quality of time with family and friends:
- The obvious prerequisite for being present: turn off your phone or put it on do not disturb for a specific amount of time
- Look for opportunities to get to know your loved ones better - Curious about why your mom loves to bake? Just ask her. More ideas:
- Ask your older family members about their childhood holiday memories
- Ask your parents and grandparents about their traditions growing up
- Ask your nieces and nephews what is their favorite part about celebrating the holidays
- Play a game. Maybe a non-controversial one depending on the competitiveness of your loved ones. (Suggestion: Telestrations - you don’t even need the printouts, you can do it just with scraps of paper - the more people, the better.)
- Be prepared to be silly. It’s the holidays. Embrace the Santa hats and goofy songs.
- Notice the sacrifice of others for your benefit - the time spent cooking, the vulnerability and sacrifice of giving you a gift. Be thankful for every bit of love you see.
How to maximize The quality of your rest time:
- Sleep (in) and go to bed early when possible. Rest physically well. The quality of your precious waking time seems to depend on this.
- Read about something totally unrelated to your business, like a classic young adult fiction novel or children’s book (Recommendations: The Phantom Tollbooth, Beazus and Ramona)
- Watch a favorite movie from when you were little (Home Alone!) with your children or other young family members
- Do a seasonal activity (think: ice skating, cookie baking, lights viewing) - something that makes you feel present and alive in this season
- Taste all the food you want, but hold off from bingeing
- Go for hot chocolate
- Contemplate Jesus's birth and why it is celebrated
- Write down a list of 50 things you’re thankful for. Be specific. Then let people on the list know why you’re thankful for them.
- Pass down something you value to a family member
- If you feel the need to work, decide an amount of time and keep it within those scheduled limits
- Take some time to reflect on this past year and all that has happened. Think about how you'd like your life to look in the future. Contemplate steps it would take to get it there.
Keep in mind that none of these points should be seen as work. They are intended for investment. Investment in your relationships with others and investment in your own growth and health. And this is all good for your business. The more healthy you are, the more you can bring to your business.
Also, don’t get down about the lack of time you have (like I often do). Instead, make sure you intentionally seek the best quality for the time you do have.