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How Do You Balance the Holidays and Work?

Monster Members Share Their Tips and Tricks

How Do You Balance the Holidays and Work?

The holidays are generally a time filled with festivities, good cheer and even better food. So, who wants to work?

Probably not many of us, but in all seriousness, we still need to get the job done despite the holidays and all their inherent distractions. For that reason, we asked Monster members for their tips and tricks on enjoying the holidays while keeping their jobs in balance. Here's a sample of their responses:

The Importance of Family

I make it a priority to be with my family and friends for the holidays. I request my time off and work early January. However, I do work some weekend days to compensate for time off during the holidays.

Relax, relate and release. This is the time to catch up with old friends, stop and have a cup of herbal tea and catch up on family issues. Also, try and take time to make obtainable goals for the new year.

I always try to plan ahead. The holidays come once a year, and it is a very special time for family. Work will be there! All year, you hustle and bust your tail to get your work done (efficiently), so during the holiday season, make your family the first priority, and ENJOY THE TIME OF YEAR!

At all times, but especially during the holidays, there is one rule that must not be broken: Leave your job at work! Bringing home those irritations, challenges and worries that occupy you all day long at work can grossly interfere with holiday fun. By checking them at your workplace door, you free up off time to enjoy friends and family. Just consider that the magic fairy has never come in and finished your work for you, so you can rest assured that what you need to do at work will be there waiting for you when you return. Don't let it eat up your fun time. Conversely, don't spend all day at work laboring over what you will wear, whom you will go with or any other aspect of any upcoming social event. While these are valuable as momentary diversions, they can eat up your productive time at work. After all, when you check your work at the door, you can spend your off time planning and executing your social events.

Make a Master Plan

Balancing the holidays and the demands of the job is easy if everything is written down. Of course, keeping a day planner with important events and dinners written down is the easiest first step. Then around these events, I schedule into the day planner grocery shopping, gift shopping, etc. Online gift shopping always makes the best use of time, and this can be done on the lunch hour. Also, to stay organized, I keep a small notebook with a list and running tally of everyone I purchase gifts for. In that manner, no one is forgotten, and finances are kept in check. My children are included in the notebook also. I even plan the day I can get Christmas cards out and wrap presents. This may seem overboard, but with two preschoolers, it is necessary.

Find Time to Shop

I capitalize on the efficiency of the Internet to do a lot of shopping these days. This way, I am not taking as many extended lunches for shopping, and whatever I need is dropped off at my doorstep (or my job, depending on which address I use). Also, I am a night person, so I do a great deal of my sorting, wrapping, crafting, etc. between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. I don't usually take a lot of time off during the holidays, because the office is virtually empty. This allows me a little downtime during the day, so I'm ready to do my night owl thing later on!

I take some time out of every lunch break to go to the store and buy something holiday-related. I start this the first week of November. Then I go home before I pick up the kids and wrap it. That way, when I take that one day for the big bang of purchases, it has diminished dramatically, and it becomes a manageable event, with a stop for a quick lunch, too -- my reward for dividing it up so successfully.

In August right before school, I have my nine nieces and nephews and my four children make lists of everything they think they can't live without. Then I talk to my mom and ask her what she would like or I give her some options. I look online, find the best price and go for it. I have a late day every Wednesday when I work from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. I get up at my normal time: 5:30 a.m. At 7, I am at the stores. This way, I don't have to take time off, nor am I in anyone's way. The stores are so peaceful -- all you hear is carts packed with more stock just for us to buy. You can get up each and every aisle with no brushing carts, no excuse me, no kids running out in front of you trying to get that toy. You can shop in the clearance section with no interruptions. From 7 a.m. to 9 a.m., I get all I can. If I need help, I ask. Don't be afraid to ask; that is what they are there for -- to help you, the consumer. Enjoy yourself, and have fun shopping for the little munchkins.

One Special Holiday

Being a nurse for 30 years, working mostly night shifts, I soon realized I could not make every holiday spectacular. So at the beginning of the year, I pick one holiday I will celebrate with pizzazz! If you request your holiday early, you are seldom disappointed. This year, it's Thanksgiving, and all plans are made for a great event. My family is already planning next year's holiday: My 60th birthday!!

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