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Vacation on your mind? How to stay motivated during the holiday season

November 22, 2010

Many of us have a stash of vacation days we’ve reserved especially for the holidays. Whether we plan on staying put or traveling, we are anxiously counting down, anticipating our time off. Some of us can think of nothing else.

However, our to-do lists and deadlines continue to taunt us. Sometimes a few words of advice can help – but if you’re not inspired by the de-motivator’s soul-crushingly depressing poster above, maybe the tips below will help:

  • Dissect your to-do list. Rather than overwhelm yourself by stressing over everything you need to do before you can unplug, select a few tasks you need to accomplish and block out time on your calendar to force yourself to check them off your list. There’s a difference in being busy and being productive – look for ways to accomplish what you need to do versus the myriad items that end up on your list.
  • Revisit your goals. Our team has specific, measurable goals we plan to accomplish before year’s end. Revisit your biggest accomplishments and tie up any lose ends. If you have downtime while other members are out, use this time to think about your goals for 2011. Consider creating a visual collage of what you’d like to accomplish and place it in a visible spot so you see it everyday (another technique we employ at MarketWave called photo-mapping).
  • Remember you actually need your job. Despite our angst, we wouldn’t be buying a turkey and stuffing it or exchanging holiday gifts (if you’re so inclined) if we didn’t have a paycheck. Remember, our national unemployment rate continues to hover at 9.6 percent (8.1 percent in Texas) – 14.8 million people don’t have jobs!
  • Volunteer and give back. Choose a non-profit organization you’re passionate about and volunteer. Giving back to a cause you believe in will both inspire and reinvigorate you. You could even make it a team effort and invite your colleagues to join you.

What advice do you have to stay focused during the holidays?

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