Manage Holiday Stress, Get Writing Done, and Feel Great About It!
For those of us in the U.S., the holiday season kicks off with Thanksgiving this Thursday. Whether you look at the approaching holidays with a twinkle of excitement in your eye or would prefer to skip the hustle and bustle of the season, we all can admit it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
Between events, parties, shopping, baking, cooking, and so much more, we can easily slip into overdrive (or overkill). So many people give way to a frenzied “seasonal” spirit that they lose focus on their priorities and shelve their writing goals.
Use these tips to keep on the right track with your writing efforts and enjoy the holidays!
Write Before You Do Anything Else
Let writing be the first major task you tackle by setting aside as much time as you can allow and doing it: write first thing every single day. This may be a major shift in your routine, so remember this: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” Ultimately, if you really, truly want to make writing a priority, you’ll find a way. Consider it as a promise to yourself and your readers.
Assign Writing Deadlines
It’s easy to say, “It can wait another day – I just need to get XYZ out of the way first.” You’ll always find a replacement “XYZ” to put off writing if you get into the habit. Even if you are your own editor-in-chief, assign yourself a deadline: “I need to get this to my editor by [insert time] on [insert date].” This will help you hold yourself accountable and push yourself to meet your own writing deadlines to ensure you write, publish, and engage your audience.
As you try to squeeze even more out of your packed day, your calendar may become nearly unintelligible with notes, errands, and more. So much so, you may need to hire a cryptographer to decipher the code you call your calendar. To keep honest and ensure you can touch each task for a reasonable amount of time (and not a minute more), set a reminder or alarm to alert yourself when it’s time to wrap up or bookmark your current task and then start your next task.
Say No and Feel Good About It
Whether you’re uncomfortable saying no because you’re a people pleaser or you get a thrill out of the challenge, learn to say “no.” I covered this briefly in last Friday’s post (#12), but I’d like to expand upon it here. Here are 5 “no” replies that you can start using now:
- No, this doesn’t align with my current priorities.
- No, there isn’t time for it.
- No, this will only happen if you make [insert impossible scenario here] happen.
- No, not now, but maybe next time.
- No, it won’t happen, ever.
Manage Holiday Stress
The largest hurdle to overcome is holiday stress, which attributes a societal spike in anger issues, anxiety, depression, and yes, even writer’s block. Use the following tips to manage your stress:
- Keep things in perspective by focusing on your priorities.
- Be honest with your limitations and set realistic goals.
- Let your family and friends know about your commitments.
- Keep it simple to avoid over-doing it with elaborate plans.
- Don’t over-schedule yourself with engagements, visits, etc.
- Take care of yourself by getting enough exercise and quality sleep.
- Allow yourself “me time” and do the things that you enjoy.
- Make plans to visit friends and family after the holidays.
- Connect and reconnect with positive people who add value to your life.
- Take time to stop and enjoy the fruits of your labors.
Use the above tips to work in more hassle-free writing time over the holidays. What tips do you have to enjoy the holidays while making writing a priority? Let us know – we’d love to hear from you!
Looking for more tips? Squeeze more time out of your day: 30 Time-Saving Tips