How to actually enjoy your holidays
instead of stressing about work


Last year, a survey of Australian business owners revealed more than 75 per cent planned to work over the Christmas season.

If you have a tendency to check emails long after you’ve switched on your out-of-office message, try these five tips to make the most of your precious free time.


1. Create a ‘To-Don’t’ list


That’s the advice of Dr. Holly Phillips, author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough.

“Review each item [on your to-do list], asking yourself, ‘Can I delegate this?’ and ‘Can it wait?’ If the answer is yes to either, move it to your to-don’t list,” Holly says,

“You’ll feel lighter and better able to move on to what’s truly important.”


2. Schedule your catch-ups with your A-team


In addition to partners, parents and kids, think about all the people you want to share time with.

Make time to catch up by phone with close friends who live overseas or interstate. Or make a plan to finally invite in your neighbour for a cuppa and cake.

Relaxing with a coffee and magazine

3. Invest in your intellectual capital


Just because you’ve switched your phone to silent and your emails to manual updates, doesn’t mean you can’t be spending downtime productively.

Think about the areas in your career or business where you could improve, then find a great business book on the topic. A few hours of relaxing reading could pay off all year long.


4. Make a return-to-work plan


Business psychologist Justin Spray recommends writing down your reflections on what you want to achieve at work so you don’t spend precious holiday time mulling over a mental to-do list.

“Rather than ignoring those feelings, take note of them and create a concrete action plan,” Spray says.

“By creating a written plan, you can avoid pondering about work in a way that intrudes into the whole holiday.”

Diary dates planning for the year ahead

5. Thank all the people who support you and be generous to yourself

At this time of the year, we often thank clients and customers.

Be sure to also make time to thank your co-workers, business partners and, most of all, family members who help you achieve your success.

Reflect on everything you have to be thankful for and enjoy whatever it is that you love most.

When time is precious, there’s no better gift.