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10 Ways to Stay Professional During Holiday Parties

10 Ways to Stay Professional During Holiday Parties

The party season is upon us, and so is the career-killing potential party. With everybody in a celebratory mood and the champagne flowing freely, opportunities to embarrass yourself are plentiful. Here’s how to make your holiday gatherings memorable in a good way.

Don’t Overindulge

Drinking, or indulging in other types of artificial happy-making substances, can lead to the worst kind of notoriety. Stories of drunken debauchery never fade away. 20 years after you retire, people will still tell the story of the time you took a leak in the punch bowl, faxed naked butt picks to your biggest client, or propositioned the owner’s daughter. And the sad thing is, the more uncomfortable you are at social gatherings, the more likely you are to drink too much. Know your limitations. Drink just enough to loosen up, then switch to water for an hour or so. Your body will thank you, and you won’t make the wall of shame.

Avoid Mistletoe

Holiday office hookups might seem fun at the time (especially if you’re hammered), but they rarely end well. If you don’t overindulge, then you’ll probably avoid the mistletoe anyway.

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Be Wary Of The Buffet

Rich holiday foods can wreak havoc on your digestion[1] at the worst possible time. Avoid foods that cause bloating, upset stomach, heartburn, allergic reactions, and especially (heaven forbid) gas or diarrhea. No holiday treat is worth that level of embarrassment.

Dress Appropriately

As tempting as it may be to go from frumpy office worker to dazzling, scantily clad starlet, keep your holiday look smart and businesslike[2],especially if you’re a woman. It’s hard enough to be taken seriously in the corporate world without sabotaging yourself. The same dress rules apply for men, to a certain extent. If you want to move up the corporate ladder, shirtless beefcake is not a good look.

Put Your Best Smile Forward

Nothing exudes confidence more than a straight back, a firm handshake, and a great smile. Your teeth need extra attention during the holiday grazing season, when sinful sticky foods and sweet beverages are everywhere you turn. There are some better choices you can make to maintain that great holiday smile[3]. Less-sweet holiday options include gingerbread instead of cookies, pumpkin pie instead of pecan pie, and oat and nut-based treats. You’ll also want to brush and floss more often, and consider seeing your dentist for a cleaning in January.

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Do Your Homework

While sparkling conversation comes naturally to a tiny percentage of party-goers, most of us have no idea how to be interesting in a group setting. Prepare to be conversational by understanding what people are likely to talk about. Before the party, catch up on current events, know the hot topics on social media, and review the latest blockbuster movies, even if you haven’t seen them. Be ready to lie your face off about having eaten at a fine restaurant, or plans for a wonderful trip. Embellish, without being overly dramatic. Try on some one-liners that are amusing and cavalier, without drifting into long, boring stories. Keep it short, and interject only when appropriate.

Play The Host

One way to circulate and be noticed without having to be overly social is to become the host. Move around the room greeting people with lines like, “Bob, so glad you came! Can I bring you another drink?” or “Sally, you really have to try these crab cakes, they’re delicious.” If social interactions make you feel itchy, you can have your social moment, make a positive impression, and then move on without offending anyone.

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Office parties are the great equalizer, the one time of year when C-Suite execs come down from the lofty heights to mingle with the common folk, and your chance to make an impression. The best way to do that is to offer a firm handshake, introduce yourself, and say something intelligent about them. Mention a presentation or speech they gave recently, a book they wrote, or an interview they gave. Show that you follow their career and are deeply interested in the company, but don’t fawn, because nobody respects a fawner.

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Keep It Clean

Even if you’re well-known for your salty language, keep your language work-appropriate for the party. Off-color jokes, sly innuendo, and amusingly inappropriate F-bombs might crack up the guys around the water cooler (or even at the club), but that’s not the impression you want to leave on your supervisor’s wife.

Have Fun!

It’s possible to have fun semi-sober and fully dressed. You can maintain your dignity and be entertained and entertaining all at the same time. Eat, drink, and be merry…just not too much.

References

[1]^  Daily Herald: 6 Steps to Better Digestion This Holiday Season

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[2]^  Business Insider: How to dress for your office holiday party without embarrassing yourself

[3]^  Taunton Village Dental: How To Maintain A Great Holiday Smile

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

Reference

[1] http://www.dailyherald.com/article/20161124/entlife/161129490/
[2] http://www.businessinsider.com/what-to-wear-to-my-office-holiday-party-2016-12
[3] http://www.tauntondental.ca/how-to-maintain-a-great-holiday-smile/

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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