Thursday, December 6, 2012

Staying focused at Christmas

The holidays are busy times.

Think about it. More meetings. Parties. Home. Office. Starbucks. Restaurants. Food. Diet. Children. Parents. Relatives. Money. Presents. Stockings. Wrapping. Gift bags or paper. Late nights. Early mornings. Sleepovers. Travel.

How do we stay focused? I love this tip from John Carmack:  
 Focus is often a matter of deciding what things you’re not going to do.

1. Recognize "Yes" as an option. It's merely an alternative to your other option: "No."
2. Align all holiday possibilities with your values. If you are saving money, buying expensive (or unnecessary) presents is not an option. Staying up late at the office party may not serve your value of getting your work done that week.
3. Where will you meet people? If your house needs cleaning, invite people over and get stuff moving toward organization. (My mom's tip: no matter what the rest of the place looks like, the LR, kitchen, and bathroom have to be clean!) If you'd be stressed out by having people over, find a favorite coffee shop and restaurant for meeting friends and coworkers.
4. Be considerate of others. Don't choose a pricey place for someone barely making ends meet - unless you're willing to foot the bill. Some people would prefer visiting a home while others are too shy to show up at a house.
5. Emphasize hospitality over status. Whether or not you put on the Ritz or go all-out with glitz, don't intimidate others by pointing out your ability to host a great party. Make sure everyone feels welcome. Make everyone feel special: connect people to each other by sharing their best traits and accomplishments.
6. Choose what gives you pleasure. You might have to show up at the office party and that difficult relative's place. But you can space those "MUST"s with visits with beloved friends and calls to old acquaintances.
7. Schedule down-time and close family time. Find time to rest and relax so you are refreshed for obligations. Put those hours on your calendar and don't let anything interrupt them that you wouldn't allow to interrupt other appointments.
8. Be thankful. For what you have. For what you don't have and don't need.

In general, make the season simpler rather than more complex. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Read more:
*The path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, which shines brighter and brighter until full day. Proverbs 4:18

We are not of the night or of darkness. So then let us not fall asleep as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-6

Moravian Prayer: Dear Jesus, as we awaken from our sleep and the light of day streams into our window, may you be our first thought. Before we even stand, Lord, may we praise you. Amen.

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