There are a lot of distractions at this time of year. With all the holiday pressures, it is hard to get your regular work done at its usual pace. But (and this maybe just me) work has a tendency just before a break to turn it up a notch, the to-do list gets a little longer and the urgency for things to get done a little greater. It is funny how your chemistry that refused to work for a month suddenly cooperates and you now have a week before you go on vacation to get somewhere with it.
Actually, I think part of that is just me. I like to take off for a break feeling I had reached a natural place to pause. Sometimes the point you want to reach is a little further down the road than perhaps you might have reached without the added incentive to be done for a spell. Plus you add in the holiday pressures – mailing gifts is a hassle or a long wait in line if you go at the wrong time of day. There is also the desire to go for lunch with friends once more before 2009 is gone for good. Those extra little tasks cut into your time and put added stress on your day.
The truth is that some of these deadlines are self-imposed – sorting out which are really important and which are just you pushing yourself can help you regain some perspective. It will still be there after the break. A little stress is good – slow days at the office are much worse (for me at least) than busy ones, because the day feels a lot longer and less productive when you have little to do. But like a lot of things that we do over the holiday period – moderation is the key.
Merry Christmas, enjoy your winter break and I’m looking forward to 2010.