I hope you had a wonderful Christmas this week and Santa was good to you. You know…Christmas is that special day where everything is completely stress-free, no worries, and you get to see all of the people that you love.
Well, in a perfect world it is…but we all know the reality of Christmas is that it can be one of the most difficult and stress-filled times of the year. One way to make this time of year less stressful is to put the stress that you are dealing with into perspective and find ways to manage it.
I often find that no matter how difficult something seems at the time, there’s always someone else who has the courage to face something much more challenging.
Another way that I cope with stress is finding time in my calendar to plan time to review and organize all of my “buffer” activities.
Within your time system, buffers days are often the most overlooked and least appreciated days. This is why it’s important that you schedule them just like you would an important client meeting.
Buffer activities are all of the small annoying things that you don’t want to do but need to do.
Things like: cleaning your desk, clearing out your e-mails, and filing all of those papers and documents that are sitting in your inbox.
Other examples of helpful buffer activities include:
- Making a Stop Doing list (task that you no longer see valuable to do but keep doing anyway)
- Organizing future travel and trip opportunities that are important to you
- Sending out e-mails, cards and notes to thank people in your life
Buffer days are about clean-ups, delegations, new capabilities, and preparation to setup for the days when you are most focused and using your unique ability. For many people, that is preparing to sell or fulfill what product or service you provide.
When you’re prepared and have all of your buffer activities organized and managed, you can be more clear and focus on what you do best.
While many people are out-of-the-office this week, some of us are still working.
For me, I am using these days to get all of my buffer day items in order.
Here’s a small list that you might think about and consider for the next week as well.
- Cleaning up messes/organizing
- Scheduling, routine paperwork, filing
- Preparing your year-end tax paperwork
- Communicating with your team and suppliers
- Delegating, training
- Learning new skills, business reading
- Planning for and setting goals for 2014
Henry Kissinger said it best when he shared, “There cannot be a stressful crisis next week. My schedule is already full.”
You can do this and you’ll thank me when you do.
Best wishes on getting all of those “buffer” items conquered.
Have a great new year!
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