When the timing of your company’s year-end deadlines and last-push revenue targets collide with employee time-off requests and a sea of client out-of-office notifications, it’s no wonder why the holidays are a stressful time for many. Add on personal obligations – such as attending kids’ winter performances and baking for their teachers, shopping for everyone on your list, and holiday celebrations with friends and family near and far – and you have a recipe for burnout. So much for “the most wonderful time of the year,” right? Not necessarily.  


So, what’s a well-meaning, over-extended leader to do? 

Unless you’ve figured out how to clone yourself, all you can do is set realistic expectations for yourself and with others.   

  1. Prioritize
    Sometimes there are more things to do than time to do them all, in which case you have to prioritize what’s most important – both professionally and personally – and decide what you’re not going to do. Don’t forget to put yourself on the list of priorities – make time for something that restores your energy.
  2. Plan
    Once you’ve identified what has to get done, collaborate with your team and clients/prospects to plan when you are going to do it. There are few things more demoralizing for team members than requiring them to work through the holidays if/when they could have met their targets ahead of schedule. The need for planning extends to your personal life as well. 
  3. Outsource
    The truth is, most of us hate asking for help, yet are happy to lend a helping hand – assume the same is true for those around you! Have an important presentation to give that’s scheduled at the same time as your child’s classroom holiday party? Maybe that presentation would be a great opportunity for someone on your team to get visibility, or the class holiday party could be a delightful honor for a grandparent or favorite auntie. You don’t have to be an army of one – even Santa has helpers! 
  4. Be Present
    Once you’ve prioritized and planned, decided what you’re going to do and where you’re going to be, be there. Let go of the unrealistic idea of being able to do everything and please everyone. Instead, invest that energy into what you’re doing in the moment. You’ll have a greater impact and much less stress. 


‘Tis the season to align your people strategy with your business strategy.  

We know year-end can be overwhelming, but you’re not alone. If any of the things on your professional “to do” list are HR-related, let the HR consulting team at HR Elements help! We have a team of experts in a wide range of Human Resource specialties, including onsite HR support, talent development, recruiting, performance management, compensation benchmarking and strategies, workforce planning, employee engagement, compliance, leadership development, executive coaching, training, and employe assessments.  


Contact us today for a free consultation and let us sleigh some of that stress for you!