How to reduce end-of-year stress

Between work projects that have to be finished, holiday parties that have to be attended, and gifts that have to be bought, the holiday season is hectic for everyone. The result often is a season that's more full of stress than it is joy.

Fortunately, Fast Company contributor Michael Grothaus has a solution: Build downtime into your schedule.

"Not only should you schedule every single work-related call, meeting, and deadline into your meticulous holiday calendar, you should also schedule downtime in, too," says Grothaus, who goes on to quote small business owner Tash Khan.

"It is important to find time to wind down or be around family," Khan tells Grothaus. "By setting this time aside you essentially give yourself a deadline for when certain things need to be done to ensure that you can have that uninterrupted downtime and not worry about incomplete tasks."

There are productivity benefits, too. "We all know that stress can get to us at times and stepping away from the task at hand is essentially what we may need," Khan continues. "Taking a few minutes or even hours is sometimes necessary, and can often help you to generate fresh ideas and discover new ways of thinking."

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