What do the holidays mean to you? Ask a four year old and he’ll talk to you about presents, reindeer, cookies and magic. Ask a mother and she’ll talk to you about the gifts that need to be bought, the house that needs to be cleaned and the dinner that needs to be cooked. From the parent’s perspective, the season sounds more like drudgery than magic. If this is true then we have lost something precious and we need to get it back. Here are some tips to help you recapture the magic you saw in the holidays when you were four years old:
Actions speak louder than words. Is the way that you spend your time an accurate reflection of your values? If you’re focusing on your family during the holidays, will you put your laptop down when they want to talk to you? Even though our family time is valuable to us, it’s often the first thing we push to the side when we’re busy. Take this opportunity to show your family that they matter to you more than anything else does.
You set the agenda. Being an entrepreneur means that you might have to work through the holidays, but you need to set clear boundaries. Only do the tasks that are absolutely necessary and make a strict schedule that you clearly communicate to both your family and your clients. This ensures that there are no surprises and that your work doesn’t creep into your family time.
Identify and eradicate time thieves. In addition to the usual culprits, there are time thieves that only exist during the holidays. If you are spending a lot of time on something, ask yourself ‘Is this really necessary?’ Is it really necessary to spend an hour making your own stuffing for dinner? Is it really necessary to meticulously clean out all of your cupboards before your guests arrive? Is it really necessary to bake Christmas cookies for twenty-five of your closest friends? Your time is limited so make it count!
Plan festive activities. The holidays are a perfect opportunity to create family traditions like going tobogganing, decorating a gingerbread house, or just enjoying an evening with your spouse and a few cups of eggnog. This is where you’ll find the real magic.
When you become a parent, it feels like the hourglass goes into overdrive. The time passes too quickly as your children grow up before your eyes. The holidays that you spend together are memories that all of you will look back on for the rest of your lives. Don’t miss these precious moments. Make it a priority to always hold on to the magic of the season.