Staying Focused at Work Amidst the Chaos of the Holidays
As the seasons change here in Utah, the anticipation for the holiday season makes itself very prominent all around us. As we walk into stores we see the displays changing to Thanksgiving and Christmas sometimes BEFORE Halloween has even arrived. As we walk the streets we see city workers hanging lights and garland. Ready or not, the holidays are upon us! For many of us, these are welcomed sights reminding us of many traditions past and family gatherings where memories will soon be made. For others, it can be the start of an anxiety attack that makes it hard for them to get out of bed every day and get to work.
Whether you’re eager to welcome the holiday season with open arms or considering moving to a deserted island until the holidays are over, here are a few helpful tips to help you stay focused while at work.
Holiday Work Tip #1: Time Management
With all the cooking, shopping, cleaning to prepare for guests, commuting to and from work and dealing with added traffic from travelers, driveways and walks to shovel and parties to attend, it’s important to plan accordingly. Don’t wait to do all your Thanksgiving grocery shopping until the day before! Don’t wait until the weekend before Christmas to go check off all the gifts on your list. Doing so will add stress to your life and life-stress spills into work and causes additional anxiety. Also, try taking a day or two off a couple weeks before the holiday to beat the rush in the stores and enjoy some time off before the hordes of people hit the streets and stores.
Holiday Work Tip #2: Take a Lesson From The Scrooge
We’ve all seen or heard the story of Ebenezer Scrooge from Dicken’s A Christmas Carol. If Scrooge can ultimately find happiness during the holidays, why can’t we? It just takes a little reflection and maybe even a little spin-selling to turn those negative thoughts into positive ones.
- I, for one, do not like the snow during the holidays BUT my kids LOVE it and I enjoy watching them play in the snow. Therefore, taking them sledding brings happiness to my kids’ lives which in turn makes me happy. When I’m happy in my personal life it spills over into my work life. See how that works?
- I’m not a huge fan of traffic and long lines at the stores BUT I do enjoy shopping online for cyber-deals and taking advantage of many retailers offering free shipping during the holidays which saves me from waiting in lines. Finding deals and saving on shipping takes away some of the financial stress during the holidays which doesn’t make me feel like I need to work extra hours to earn extra cash. Can I call this a win-win? Close enough.
- Like most people, I’m always trying to watch my weight but the influx of food and treats around the holidays make it tough to stay in shape and not indulge in all our foodie desires BUT during the holidays there are plenty of football games on TV. (I know what you’re thinking, how is TV gonna help us watch our weight?) Well, I struggle staying entertained at the gym but you throw on some great football games and I could ride a bike for hours in front of that TV! As a bonus, hitting the gym increases my energy which helps me focus at work. Sneaky, right?!
To sum it up, it’s up to us to take control of our stress levels. Let’s work on our time management, be prepared, take a lesson from Scrooge and find ways to just sit back and enjoy the moment in hopes we don’t get overwhelmed and cause our work to suffer. Cheer up and make the most of the holidays!
Operations & Safety Manager
Your Employment Solutions
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One Cannot Underestimate the Long-Term Power of “Stick-to-itiveness”
Yes, stick-to-itiveness is a real word and to save you time from looking it up I’ll quote Dictionary.com:
Stick-to-itiveness. noun. dogged perseverance; resolute tenacity
I’m writing a blog on this topic, not because it’s the New Year and I’m trying to keep you all motivated to stick with your resolutions, rather as I realize I’m approaching 16 years with Your Employment Solutions (YES) I’m reflecting on what it took for me to reach this rare milestone.
I found some very interesting charts and graphs from the Bureau of Labor Statistics regarding longevity on the job.
The above chart show less than 1.4% of the U.S. workforce who started a new job between the ages of 18-24 held their job longer then 15 years. And additionally, based upon the chart, the Average-Joe my age would typically be in about his TENTH job by now! How do you measure-up with the trend?
Some professionals believe that job-hopping is a great way to become well rounded and gain new skills and experiences. Some go as far to say that keeping the same job for long periods of time is a bad thing and according to this blog “…after a while, your learning curve plateaus, your personal growth sputters, and then your passion dissipates.”
My experience with YES contradicts that statement. People really need to consider what their personal definition of “personal growth” and success is. For me, success is remaining gainfully employed, having financial stability (I’ve not missed a week of pay in 16 years!), supporting my family, gaining new skills and experiences, avoiding life’s “ruts” and enjoying my journey through life. Having worked in the same company for 16 years does not mean I’ve had the same “job” and have had no “personal growth” for 16 years. I’m proud to say I’ve experienced a wonderful life and career full of learning new things, experiencing new things and developing new passions.
Here’s my stick-to-itiveness story in a nutshell:
I started working as a temporary employee of YES and demonstrated enough work ethic that they offered me an opportunity to become a recruiter in-house as one of the then three-man operation. I then became a lead by default when we hired a fourth employee. I was trained to be a salesman in order to help the fledgling company grow. I was entrusted to manage one of the businesses largest expenses (Workers Compensation) and, in addition to other duties, became a safety manager. I have assisted in the opening and management of three branches. I have participated in the hiring and new-hire training of nearly all our staff members.
I had the opportunity to buy-out one of the business owners and become a partner in the business. I’ve even traveled to Honduras on two humanitarian trips with Amigos of Honduras which is a foundation started by one of our business owners. What more could I ask for after having dedicated 16 years to one company?
As for the next 16 years, there’s no telling what new skill or experiences I’ll have but one thing’s for sure, it’s up to me to ensure my passion and continued personal growth doesn’t dissipate.
Who would have thought that a 21-year-old kid, starting as an $8/hr temporary employee would someday become one of the owners of the business who collects dividends from the profit of the business he’s help to grow over those 16 years. Had I followed the Average-Joe’s career path of hopping jobs every couple years there’s no telling where I’d be or what my level of success would have been, but what I do know is that my stick-to-itiveness has paid dividends and I couldn’t be happier with my life.
My experience at YES may not lead to the same success and happiness for anyone working 16 years for one company, but it certainly is a beaming example of what’s possible. My advice for people entering the job market is: be reliable; work hard; don’t be afraid to try new things; continue your education; show dedication to employers who return the favor; be honest; don’t wait for your employer to pay you what you think your worth but work so hard that they will realize they can’t afford to lose you.
While “job-hopping” may indeed be your pathway to success, one cannot underestimate the power of “stick-to-itiveness.”
Training & Safety Manager
Your Employment Solutions
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