The holidays are a time filled with festive cheer and good food. But the holidays are also often a time when work, social, and home life pressures collide overwhelmingly. Therefore, determining helpful strategies for better work/life balance is essential to keep things sane for yourself and those around you. To help you, we’ve collated the top 5 tips to maintain work/life balance during the holidays.

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1.    Be organised

Plan ahead and don’t let tasks and events pile up on you. This might involve utilising management apps on your phone or computer. Or writing tasks down in a list and marking events in a calendar. Whether you need a pen and paper, or management app, utilise organisational systems to keep yourself organised.

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2.    Plan

Set aside time at the beginning of each week to go over the tasks you need to accomplish that week. Then allocate time for each event, each day, and stick to that schedule. Do the same thing at the start of each month to plan out your weeks as well. Plan in advance, so you won’t have to worry about events coming up unexpectedly.

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3.    Prioritise

The thing about endeavouring to achieve work/life balance is that for some reason, we give work more priority. In order to attain true work/life balance, especially during the holidays, you have to understand what your priorities are. In order to do that, focus on what matters to you and not just on what you feel obligated to do. When you do this, you will find it easier to reach the right balance.

4.    Be flexible and firm

Priorities can change. So leave room for when other obligations come up or when plans don’t quite go the way they were meant to. Learn to say “no” as well. This might be difficult to do because it requires assertiveness with others. But oftentimes we work too much because we can’t say that one little word—no.

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5.    Manage stress

There are a number of things you can do to manage your stress. Start by setting limits on the hours you work and enforce them. Exercise to boost your energy levels and improve your mood. And be present. When at work, be at work—focus on work-related tasks, not surfing the internet for gifts. When you’re home, be home—put the computer or phone away and focus on your family. But most importantly, have ‘you’ time. Spending time taking care of yourself really is critical for managing stress.

Balancing work and life is difficult at the best of times, but it becomes even more difficult during holidays. Sometimes it can all get too overwhelming and quality time seems to be out of reach. But if you start your preparations early, manage your time effectively, and cut yourself some slack, you’ll have a good chance of finding that all important work/life balance these holidays.