Feeling like you're overwhelmed and there's not enough time to get it all done?

Whether you're a business owner, manager or employee, the end of the year can be a very stressful time to navigate. It can often be like running the last few miles of a marathon and you just want to finish those end of year reports and meet those final deadlines.

Many of my corporate clients lament that there's no downtime in business anymore, that they used to be able to file everything and pack up the office at the end of the year to get that sense of completion and finality but that today, one year blends into the next and the constant demand for more keeps them going all year round.

The lack lustre performance issues many people are struggling with at this time of the year could stem from these common modern workplace challenges:

  1. Lack of control
  2. Lack of tolerance
  3. Lack of support
  4. Lack of sleep

What can you do? Here are some simple tips and strategies to help you tackle these issues and handle your overwhelm so you can stay sane this Christmas.

1 - Lack of control can easily put even the seasoned professional into a spin so one of the best antidotes is to stop and take stock. Take 10 minutes out each morning to plan your day, to stop and take stock. You could choose three priorities for the day or evaluate all your options and look for what you have control or influence over whether its your meetings, appointments, workload or deadlines. You could then have a meeting with your supervisor to discuss your concerns and suggest any ideas you might have for managing it without burnout.

A simple way to regain some sense of control is to pack up your desk every day. Basically mess equals stress so the more you can clear your work space and start with a fresh, clean desk every day. A messy desk can be distracting and can pull your mind off of what you should be doing: working. Keeping it clean will make it easier to focus on projects and give you back some control.

2 - Lack of tolerance can really raise its ugly head at this time of year particularly in already dysfunctional workplace cultures. With the added time, financial and performance pressures at the end of the year people can become tired and low on empathy. The office bully gets meaner, the micro manager get more anxious and pedantic and alcohol at Christmas parties can see everyone's normal veil of decency dropping lower.

When it seems everyone around you has turned into a green eyed monster the best thing you can do is #startwithU. Introduce a little tolerance and a little teflon into your attitude and adjust your expectations accordingly. No this doesn't mean become cold and aloof or allow people to walk all over you. What it means is perhaps letting a snappy response from someone slide off your shoulders, put on a smile and get on with your own work.

3 - Lack of support often shows up at this time of year with everyone wanting to race out of the door to their own destinations, beat the Christmas queues and the traffic. This can leave us feeling isolated, alone or like we're shouldering the bulk of the work.

One way to tackle this is to seek support early, find people who will be around at the end of the year and form a pact to support each other or exchange in helping out. Maybe you can take their phone so they can leave early one day and they can reciprocate for you the next? Perhaps through collaborating you can get the job done faster and find a way to get the outcome needed quicker by sharing the load.

4 - Lack of sleep can raise its head all year round, but by the end of the year even more so. Technological advances have seen us exponentially increase our screen times - computer screens, phone screens, smart tablet screens and television screens. We are seemingly juggling more and more while feeling like we are achieving less.

One way to combat screen drain is to switch off devices one hour earlier at night to allow the brain to settle and relax so you can experience a deeper, more restorative sleep. A recent study found that those who spent more than four hours a day looking at screens had a 49 per cent greater risk of taking longer than an hour to fall asleep and were three and a half times more likely to sleep for under five hours a night.

Why not turn off a little earlier and go for a walk around the houses with Christmas lights with your family? Its sure to put you more in the mood for the season and will do wonders for helping you get a restful nights sleep.

So there you have it, a few simple strategies you can try to regain some focus, control, sleep and ease at this busy time of the year. May your festive season be happy, healthy and peaceful.

Author's Bio: 

As the world’s first company culture architect, Heidi Alexandra teaches leaders and organisations how to unleash people’s unique strengths so they can love their work every day. She created a simple model, called The UQ Powerhouse, that codifies what makes healthy, happy and productive workplace cultures for the future. She advises a wide variety of leaders and organisations, including entrepreneurs, corporations and government agencies.