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10 Ways to Have a Productive Holiday

10 Ways to Have a Productive Holiday

Though a holiday should be a time for us to relax, every time we have plans to fulfill our interests or to achieve something during holidays, usually it turns out that nothing is finished or started. This is an article to teach you how to have a productive holiday.

1. Take Time for You

Take some time to do something you have been wanting to do, even if it’s just to read a new book. You may not have had the time to do it before, but the holidays are a great time to recharge and do something that will make you happy, and take one more thing off your personal list of things that you have always wanted to do.

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2. Cut Back on Emailing

You don’t have to check your email every few minutes. They are going to be there, and they will keep arriving. You could spend hours simply checking emails if you aren’t careful, and it doesn’t take long to end up wasting a lot of time that could be spent doing more productive things. Set aside a certain window of time each day for checking emails, and then ignore them for the rest of the day.

3. Take Advantage of the AM hours

If you have any vacation time and are not working, don’t sleep your days away. Get up early and get a lot of stuff done while everyone else is sleeping. By the time everyone else is up, you have finished your chores for the day, and you have time to spend with family and friends.

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4. Make Plans for the Future

Write down a list of goals for the near future, as well as steps you can take to achieve those goals. That way, you will have a good idea of what you want and will be able to come up with a plan to make things happen.

5. Make those Long-Distance Calls

Now is a great time to connect with family and friends from all over the world. Because whatever time it might be where they are, you’re on vacation, so you’re free to talk over the phone at all times. Keep those costs down and take advantage of VoIP technology to make free or cheap international calls.

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6. Get Rid of Clutter

This is the perfect time to get rid of clutter, both at home and in your office. Get your home, office, and personal life into order, and you will be on your way to an easier life when your holiday is finished. De-cluttering your space will also help to de-clutter your mind.

7. Get into Online Shopping

Gone are the days when you ordered something from a catalog or magazine, and crossed your fingers that you would get the right item. Today, more and more people are finding that they are better off ordering gifts online. They get exactly what they want, and they don’t have to wade through crowded stores to do it.

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8. Stay On Top of Your Work

Even if you are on holidays or vacation, you can still call the office to check in, read up on industry news, and more. That way, you won’t feel like you wasted your time while you were on vacation.

9. Make Advance Reservations

If you are planning on a trip, or even a dinner, make the reservations as far in advance as possible. That way, you know that there will be a place reserved for you and your guests.

10. Don’t Forget to Exercise

Just because you are on vacation, it doesn’t mean that you can take a vacation from exercising. In fact, during a holiday, it is even more important than ever to exercise, because of all of those goodies you will be munching on in addition to most likely eating out more often.

Featured photo credit: Matt Gibson via flickr.com

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Jane Hurst

Writer, editor

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Last Updated on October 15, 2018

How to Calm Down When You Are Overwhelmed: 7 Quick Ways to Try

How to Calm Down When You Are Overwhelmed: 7 Quick Ways to Try

Do you sometimes feel that you add items to your to-do list faster than you tick them off? Do you spend most of your day worrying about your lack of time?

The truth is, no matter how much we love our job, or how productive we believe we are under stress, there comes a moment when the pressure rises above boiling point. The sheer number of urgent tasks multiplies in a geometric progression. New possibilities no longer sound inspiring, they sound overwhelming and equal more work.

If that’s where you are right now – keep reading! If not, it doesn’t mean you should wait until you get there to learn how to cope with a demanding work schedule and how to calm yourself down quickly when you feel overwhelmed.

Here are 7 quick and easy tips on how to calm down when you are overwhelmed:

1. Let go of a few activities

Yes, it’s that easy! Take a look at your to-do list and ask yourself, “If I don’t do it today, will it matter a month from now?”

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Not every urgent task is important. Just like not every important, high pay-off task is urgent. The best way to keep yourself from getting overwhelmed and to manage your time is to know the difference between the two and learn to simplify your life by getting your to-do list down to three big tasks.

2. Take deep breaths to calm down

This advice sounds so simple it’s often overlooked. But it works better (and faster) than any other relaxation technique out there.

There is a direct connection between our emotional state and breathing. An anxious, frustrated or overwhelmed person breathes as if they have just finished running a marathon. A calm person breathes differently. Their breathing is deep, slow and steady. So when you have a panic attack, the best way to bring your heart rate down and to regain your cool is to change your breathing.

Try this now:

Take a slow, long deep breath in, filling your lungs with air and expanding your diaphragm. Hold your breath for four counts and then slowly release the air through your mouth. Repeat four times and notice frustration and the feeling of being overwhelmed dissolve with each long exhale of these calming breaths.

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3. Make “Just one thing” your mantra

When we feel overwhelmed by the amount of tasks on our to-do list, it’s easy to enter the ‘deer in the headlights’ state. You see deadlines approaching directly towards you, and you know that something has to be done about them, but you just don’t know where to start.

The best way to get your mind out of an ‘inactivity trance’ is to create momentum. This is what makes the “Just one thing” mantra so powerful. It helps to change our expectation that everything has to be completed right now, “or else.”

Next time you feel overwhelmed make grabbing a cup of coffee your “Just one thing.” You can do it, right? Then come back, pick one of the smallest tasks on your to-do list and tell yourself you’ll do just that one task. This is your next “Just one thing” that you will concentrate on until it’s complete. After that you can move on to the next task and so on.

It’s not “One thing at a time.” Saying this implies that there is a huge line of other tasks waiting to get done and that’s not the message you want to keep repeating to yourself. Learn how to focus here and stop getting overwhelmed.

4. Reduce the multi-tasking and multi-thinking

It’s been proven that multi-tasking is very inefficient, to the point of dumbing us down (more than smoking marijuana does). The same is true for multi-thinking, when your mind frantically jumps from one thought to another, trying to focus on and analyze several things all at once.

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Fortunately, there is help. A few minutes of meditation or brainwave music is all it takes to start feeling more relaxed, more creative and less overwhelmed.

5. Get moving

Any exercise you engage in – be it walking or dancing to your favorite beat – helps to release endorphins, the ‘feel-good’ hormones, through your body and to clear your mind.

Staying active also increases your productivity, enhances your ability to combat stress and anxiety. It also helps you to release the tension, boosting your mood and changing the thoughts that induce the sense of being overwhelmed.

The best part is you don’t have to spend hours in the gym to get the mind-soothing benefits of exercise. Even as little as 15 minutes of dancing or jogging can go a long way towards making you feel better and staying calmer.

6. Change your surroundings

We all need and deserve to take vacations from work woes and family responsibilities. Unfortunately, spending two weeks lazing on a beach, toes in the sand and a Mojito in hand, is not always an option. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t take short ‘vacations’ from work stress and the technology buzz.

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Go outside for a few minutes and enjoy the sunshine. Stop at a park instead of driving straight home from work. Sometimes changing your surroundings and ‘spicing up your routine’ is all it takes to change your perspective on things and find creative solutions to seemingly complex and overwhelming problems.

7. Get some pet therapy

Studies have shown what most of us already guessed – our pets can be a great help during stressful moments. Simple actions such as petting or playing with your dog or cat can lower high blood pressure, boost your immune system and boost your mood.

Besides, pets can make the best conversation partners to share your frustrations with. They listen, they love you unconditionally and they never talk back or say, “I told you so.”

Final thoughts

Don’t wait for stress to hit you to start practicing these quick ways to calm down when you are overwhelmed. The best way to enjoy a worry-free life is not to push yourself to the limit of being overwhelmed and frustrated.

Featured photo credit: Dardan via unsplash.com

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