As we rocket toward the end of the year, you may be planning a week or two off. It's a great idea in a lot of ways. Successful people know that if they let the holidays run them, they'll miss much of what they could have had. Here are some steps you can take to avoid a manic end-of-year sprint and instead use the time wisely and effectively.


Hard work and living take a lot out of you. The holidays offer a time to recharge, relax, and get some extra rest as things generally slow down. Take advantage of the opportunity.


Part of this happens before the holidays gear up. Look ahead and plan out the next few weeks of work so you can have everything done that is necessary and feel no guilt in walking out of the office when it's time. But during the break, take time to dream about the future and consider things that you want to do in life and work. Unfortunately, the usual grind is distracting. Now is a time to spend some quiet time getting in some contemplation and consider larger plans and strategies.

Get away from work

In a world that has quickly come to expect your availability at all times on all days, learn to say no. If there is nothing but work in your life, you have very little life available. Not that if something absolutely explodes and needs attention that you'll ignore it. You do have your obligations and duties. However, forethought can usually cover all the bases. You'll feel better and be more attentive when you return.

Spend time with family and friends

People, particularly family, can be aggravating during the holidays, but now is the time to practice not letting things get to you. When someone wants to engage in old patterns, don't give in. And find the people you do love that you don't spend enough time with. The day will come when you'll be unable to. Fill up with experience now.

Drop expectations

Many people feel tremendous pressure over what the holidays are supposed to be like. You're allowing images created by others to dictate what your experience should be. Let it all go. No present, party, or family event is that important. Find something in them that you can enjoy for what they are.

Get away from electronics

Plan on time without your digital task masters. Leave the phone at home, or at least avoid email, texts, and other things that can unnecessarily tie you to the usual routine.

Plan for fun and also open time

Go ahead and plan some grand times. Maybe you'll want a big outing with the family. But also leave some unscheduled time to either do something spontaneous or enjoy not having to do anything.