When the deadlines for your company’s year-end goals clash with employee vacation requests and a flood of client out-of-office messages, the holiday season can become a stressful time. Balancing professional obligations, like meeting revenue targets, with personal responsibilities such as attending children’s winter performances, shopping for gifts, and celebrating with friends and family can lead to burnout. It seems like “the most wonderful time of the year” isn’t always so wonderful.

So, what can a well-intentioned but overextended leader do?

Unless you’ve mastered the art of cloning, the key is to set realistic expectations for yourself and communicate openly with others.

When there’s more to do than time allows, prioritize tasks professionally and personally. Identify what matters most and be sure to include yourself on the list of priorities. Make time for activities that recharge your energy.

Once you’ve determined your priorities, collaborate with your team and clients to plan when tasks will be completed. Avoid demoralizing your team by requiring holiday work if they could have met targets ahead of schedule. Extend your planning efforts to your personal life as well.

Many of us dislike asking for help, but we’re often willing to lend a hand. Assume the same is true for those around you. If you have a scheduling conflict between an important presentation and your child’s holiday party, consider involving your team or family members. Delegating tasks can create opportunities for others and alleviate your workload.

Be Present:
After prioritizing and planning, focus on being present in the moment. Let go of the unrealistic goal of doing everything and pleasing everyone. Invest your energy into the task at hand, and you’ll make a more significant impact with less stress.

‘Tis the season to align your people strategy with your business goals.


While the year-end rush may feel overwhelming, remember you’re not alone. If your professional to-do list includes HR-related tasks, the HR consulting team at Mainsail HR is here to help. Our experts cover a broad range of Human Resource specialties, including onsite HR support, talent development, recruiting, performance management, compensation benchmarking, workforce planning, employee engagement, compliance, leadership development, executive coaching, training, and employee assessments.


Contact us today for a free consultation and let us sleigh some of that stress for you!