Contributed by Danyelle Little, founder of The Cubicle Chick. As an expert in work/life management, Danyelle offers useful tips on how to navigate your career during the holidays.  

Secret Santa, open enrollment, Thanksgiving dinner and holiday parties galore – oh my! This is the most wonderful time of the year, but can be super stressful with everything going on. Between professional life and things at home, we can all start to feel a little overwhelmed. With some planning and expertise, you can learn to navigate your career during the holidays with ease. 

Here are a few tips that can assist you in making this time of year a joyful one while you deck the holly and stock up your arsenal for success. 

Get organized 

Polaris Color Copy paper ream

Take a few hours and write in your calendar all of the work events of the season. Make sure to include parties, work gatherings, events and more. Then decide what items are must-attend fetes and what could be missed. Must-attend events should include the office holiday party, business meetings and client events. 

The best way to remain organized during the busy holiday season is to write everything down! Keep post-it reminders around your workspace, even print out a helpful color-coded calendar using Boise POLARIS® Multipurpose Premium paper. 

Once you have everything written on your calendar, use a highlighter to mark what you are going to attend, and what you will miss. Use different colors to differentiate the two. For the must-attend events, add them to your smartphone calendar (along with a 24-hour reminder) and send regrets or a note of apologies to the hosts of the events you cannot make. 

Seeing these tasks will help make them more doable and allow you to plan. 

Schedule in downtime 

Alongside creating a cohesive holiday calendar, you must also pencil in downtime in your schedule to allow you to relax, relate and release. Being overworked is counterproductive and doesn’t make you efficient – downtime will help you recharge your battery and give you the fuel you need to be successful at work. 

Even if you only have 20 minutes of downtime, it’s crucial to take advantage of that time in order for you to look brilliant. 

Be realistic 

When it comes to your workload, accepting extra projects probably isn’t conducive to having a happy holiday season. Keep it real when it comes to your work and try not to take on any further commitments so that you can complete what you already have on your plate. 

Additionally, don’t be afraid to delegate or collaborate on larger tasks that would benefit from having bonus hands on deck. 

Know the small stuff 

What is your company’s inclement weather policy? What are the office holiday hours? Who is going to be on vacation and on what days? Who will be filling in for this person while they are gone? These are all simple questions you should know the answers to, but many professionals struggle with them. 

Knowing the small stuff ahead of time will save you a lot of energy and create less havoc in your workspace world in the long run. 

Sit down with Human Resources (HR) 

Open enrollment is likely going on for most corporate insurance entities, so it is best to schedule time with your HR manager or generalist so they can help you select your coverage choices and benefits. It’s also helpful to check how much vacation time you have left in the year and manage it so that you can either carry it over to 2019 or utilize it on a use it/lose it basis. If it is the latter, you will want to begin to use that time by coordinating the time-off with HR and your manager. 

Sitting down with HR will assist you in filling in the blanks, so you can walk into the next year on a solid ground. You can also discuss your professional goals for the new year and work on a strategy so that you can accomplish them. If you work it right, HR can be a tool that you can utilize to help you with career plans. This is the perfect time of the year to get their assistance. 

Forget the stress and anxiety this time of the year can bring, instead say hello to actually enjoying these special moments while you are at work and at home. Here’s to looking brilliant and being successful in all facets of our lives.