Plan. Purge. Prep. A Pre-Xmas Survival Guide (You’re Welcome).

Feeling more Christmas fear than Christmas cheer?

A wee heads-up: there’s less than five weeks now until Christmas. And if that realisation leaves you feeling more frantic than festive, don’t panic. We’ve put together a few pre-Christmas planning tips to ensure that you not only make it out of your office in time for your holiday, but that you leave with your workload completely under control. And we know you’re super-busy, so in true PEP-style we’ve prioritised. Listed below are what we – and our participants – believe are the three most important things to tick off before the turkey timer pops:


At this time of year, deadlines pile up faster than cars in a Westfield carpark. “If you haven’t already, schedule time now to plan specifically for holiday deadlines,” says PEPworldwide:nz managing director Kathryn Anda. And stay focused: ’tis the season of dozens of distractions. Remember, says Anda, “What you need to achieve is not necessarily what you’d like to be doing.” Procrastination is never your friend, but at this time of year it’s particularly problematic.”


This is a great time to get that clutter under control – and we’re not just talking coffee cups and Christmas cards. Be ruthless with email and electronic files: archive or delete as much as possible. By all means spruce up your physical workspace too, but make organising your email your absolute priority. That pristine desk won’t help your stress levels much when you return from holiday to an overflowing inbox.


It can be difficult to look beyond Christmas, but you’ll be so glad you did when you come back from your break to calm rather than chaos. “Look ahead and ascertain what prep work needs to be done before you go away,” says Anda. “Ask yourself whether you have everything under control for those first two weeks back. Making the effort to plan ahead now will minimise – if not eliminate altogether – any lingering work stress during your holiday.”

And there you have it: one succinct survival strategy for the silly season, as promised. Simple? Yep. Straightforward? For sure. Any excuses? Nope. So get going. Because of all the gifts you receive this Christmas, having a stress-free end to this year (and a relaxed start to the new one) will be the gift that keeps on giving.