‘We must catch up before Christmas’ someone says to you on the phone as you open yet another email with an invitation to a pre-Christmas drinks function, and your heart sinks.
Networking has never been more important, to raise your profile and that of your firm, and build your personal brand. At this time of year, it seems that you could be networking full time and not doing any actual work. Leave aside the fact that you need time to purchase Christmas gifts and plan for lunch with relatives.
So it is important to maintain your equilibrium and stamina at this time of year, and also maintain your focus.
Work is still important and must remain your main focus – keep the Christmas break in mind as you work through the days until you can have a break. Make a task list at the beginning of each day and review it at the end of the day and week. Just like 30 June, 24 December is usually a deadline for a lot of clients wanting their work done so that they can enjoy the break too!
Choose your events carefully – there will be many invitations coming through the mail, email and social media, and these will not just be work related. Ask yourself if you need to say ‘yes’ to all of them? If work related, will clients be there? If no one’s feelings are going to be hurt and it feels like it is just ‘one more thing’ you need to attend you should probably politely decline. If it is a friend you haven’t seen for a while, suggest a catch up early in the New Year when it is a bit quieter, and set a date for that.
Look at your diary carefully – if you have already accepted three invitations in a week, a fourth will probably be too much. Look at your diary as well for work related deadlines – going out for Christmas drinks to be followed by karaoke is also fraught with danger if you have a major deadline the following day.
Keep an eye on consumables – and by this we mean your weight. Drinks and canapés are plentiful and you will gain weight if you are not careful. Just having three drinks is the equivalent of an entire extra meal, so rethink the cheese platter at the end of the night.
On that note try and get exercise at the beginning of the day. Not only will it help keep the weight down, it will clear your mind and give you energy for the day ahead.