As Christmas approaches, I am reminded more than ever that there are only 24 hours in each day. As lovely as the holidays are, this time of year can also prove to be full of busyness, stress, and endless to-do lists. There just doesn’t seem to be enough time to get everything done – work deadlines, holiday parties, Christmas shopping, house decorating, relatives visiting, trip planning, card writing, and New Years resolutions – and somewhere in the midst of the chaos we’re also supposed to find time to relax with family and friends!
As a leader, the seemingly endless demands on your time and attention can be overwhelming, frustrating, and disheartening. While you genuinely want to devote time to every individual whom you lead and to every key project your team is working on, there are just not enough hours in the day to allow you to invest the amount of time, attention and focus that you’d like. Because of this, frustration mounts, and when extremely time-demanding seasons come – like the Christmas holidays – stress and discontent can outweigh your holiday cheer.
There may not be a lot you can do about the inevitable holiday chaos, but one thing you can do is adjust your perspective. Sam Parker, the co-founder of GiveMore.com, puts it this way:
“Obsess over how much you can give with your time rather than how little of your time you can give.”
You may not be able to give as much time to every person and project as you would like, but rather than focusing on your lack of time, focus on what you can give with the time you do have available. You’ll never be able to add more hours to the day or days to the week; as hard as you try, you can’t work 25/8.
So this holiday season, make a list of everything you want, need, or are expected to do. Then, rather than obsessing or stressing over your abundance of responsibilities and your shortage of time, give some careful thought to “how much you can give with your time.” Don’t be afraid to say no to some things. Remember, quality is far more powerful than quantity!