The holiday season forces many of us to take stock of the past year. For some, that means rushing to wrap up unfinished tasks or obligations. For others, the holidays are a time to give thanks for the many things that went well over the past year. And for the rest of us, well, the holidays bring arduous trips to see family or meet last-minute work obligations.
Slowing down, easier holiday travel and giving thanks (to a surprising recipient) are topics that LinkedIn Influencers addressed over the past week. Here is what some of them had to say.
Greg McKeown, author of Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
McKeown was dreading another round of meetings at a conference in Mexico when he decided to sneak away for a relaxing few hours by the pool. To his surprise, he found a dozen fellow rebels lounging poolside. This relaxed, unstructured time with the other conference attendees led to something “amazing”, he wrote in his post The Joy of Missing Out (This Holiday Season).
“Deep relationships were formed, spontaneous ideas flowed and I saw one important initiative was launched,” he wrote.
It was an important reminder to slow down and avoid over committing, he wrote. “As we head into the holiday season there will be many invitations to attend this event or that party. Not only can the number of these events feel overwhelming [but] the fear of missing out can lead us to be unsatisfied with the choices we make.”
McKeown offers several suggestions to help us overcome our own fears of missing out. For one, “just because you committed doesn't mean you can't uncommit,” he wrote. “Look at each holiday commitment on your calendar for the next few weeks. Ask, ‘If I wasn’t already involved how hard would I work to attend?’ If the answer is ‘not hard at all’ then ask to be released from your commitment [using a phrase such as]: ‘I know I said I would be at this but I think I spoke too soon.’”
Establish a new rule for the new year, he suggested. “If you want to add a new commitment , get rid of an existing one,” he wrote. “If you want to add a new activity you need to edit out two existing activities. This simple rule ensures that you don't add an activity that is less valuable than something you are already doing.”
Ilya Pozin, CEO of Open Me
For those who must travel either for work or fun during the holidays, this is a good time to establish priorities and plan ahead — particularly for technology needs, wrote Pozin in his post Travelling During the Holidays? 5 Ways to Stay Productive.
“Create a checklist of important items you’ll need to stay plugged in on your flight or road trip,” he wrote. “Your laptop and cell phone are only useful for so long without a charger.” No charger? There are some fixes. “Do yourself a favour and pack a solar- or battery-powered charger. “ Some chargers even stick to car or airplane windows and will charge devices that have a USB outlet, he added.
But don’t forget to relax. “Working 24/7 isn’t good for anyone’s brainpower and can actually zap productivity instead of enhance it. Working during your holiday travel can be a great way to accomplish more, but it can also be prime time to unwind. Don’t pressure yourself into using every spare minute to work — remember to enjoy the holidays, too. You'll return to your work more refreshed and focused.”
Richard A. Moran, CEO of Accretive Solutions
Among those counting their blessings for the past year, few note their workplace conditions. But Moran took advantage of the US Thanksgiving holiday to reflect on what beneficial changes have occurred in offices around the world, in his post Giving Thanks: 8 Reasons to be Thankful at Work.
“We can be thankful for all the technologies like conference calls and Skype that allow us to stay off airplanes for business travel,” he wrote. “And be thankful for good earphones that block out the crazy guy in the cube next door while we can listen to our favourite music.”
Moran also notes how technology has made much work easier. “We can be thankful for the internet and the knowledge of the universe it can provide when it comes to work research,” he added. “And… be thankful if your organisation has an information technology person who can fix whatever damage we do on a daily basis.”